Why Being An Adult Actually Rocks

Hiya reader!

In case you didn’t know, I am 22 years old, aka a fully-fledged adult. I have never been in denial that finishing school and/or moving out of home (or in my case, both, at the same time) makes you a (under)qualified adult. I knew that I would have to pay bills and rent and remember to wash my clothes regularly, and none of that stuff really bothered me. In fact, I was excited. Adulthood sounded like a lot of freedom and a complete lack of curfews and bedtimes. What wasn’t there to like?

Four years in (man, how fast that’s gone!) and I’m still kicking. Responsibilities have been added and changed, and tax debts have been and gone. I’ve fucked up on forms and managed to escape a jury duty, and accidentally forgot to vote once. I’ve started planning overseas trips 2 years in advance, because I still don’t have a full time job and still enjoy online shopping. 

Sure, at times shit has been stressful (I’m talking about you, shared electricity bill) and some of my neighbours are a little batshit crazy, but the pressure of it all still hasn’t made me utter those nasty little words my 16-year-old self would punch me for: “Oh, being an adult is so hard! I miss high school!”

Ugh.

And again, ugh. I’ve been seeing that incredibly silly phrase posted as instagram captions and facebook posts way too often lately, and I’m not even going to deny that those people inspired this post. I look at those people and think “man, you’re totally doing it wrong”. Unless they were spoilt little brats, then being a teenager couldn’t have been that glamourous. We had all of these yucky hormones trying to find a home in our bodies, plus the everyday peer pressures and endless mountain of useless homework, and not to mention having to constantly beg to be allowed out drinking multiple weekends in a row (no, thank you for that one, Dad and Kylie, if you gave in easier I’d probably have liver failure by now). Life was a constant battle of trying to fit in and get those (essentially useless) good grades and not get suspended, even though at-home suspensions looked like the crusiest things EVER.

I had a lot of fun as as teenager, and have quite a few good stories to tell out of it, but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten all of the things I despised and longed to be ridden of (mostly just being told what to do, which is still very much an issue, haha). Sure, everything seems simpler looking back, and even though I do miss the days of endless Skins marathons and that period where Hilary Duff was killing it in the film industry, it still isn’t enough to make me want to jump in a temperamental time machine and hang out as a 15 year old again.

Being an adult has been the best thing that’s happened to me. I’ve learnt how to get creative, and deliver a stellar sob story to Telstra when I’ve overspent on my data (thank god for home wifi now!), build a lot of kmart flat pack furniture and so much more. I’ve organised holidays all from the comfort of my own bed, and saved up for those holidays with no other financial support. I’ve handled more hungover days at work than I can count, and have learnt to reign in my impulse-purchasing habits. I’ve decorated my house, exactly how I wanted it, and have covered the walls with artwork that I adore. I have a collection of cameras that I don’t get to use enough, and bookcases full of novels that’ve become friends during tough times. 

I’ve learnt that you can’t hide behind a screen forever, and if you want to make friends you have to kick aside those nerves and just make conversation. Hot tip: People love talking about themselves! Unless you’re a self-absorbed asshole who makes sure every conversation revolves around them and their views, then you’ve probably got some things left to share. Especially to strangers. Getting to know people is actually the best, and it’s so nice to reflect on how friendships have formed and pat yourself on the back for making that happen in the real world. 

Since being an adult, I’ve gone to gigs and festivals whenever I’ve wanted. I’ve made amazing new friends and rekindled friendships with old ones. I’ve made one of my favourite cities my second home-base, and have made my life-long dreams of visiting Melbourne a reality. I’ve become a lot braver than I used to be, and now look forward to the prospect of solo travel as a way to self reflect and explore without the hassle of having to leave/stay because someone else wants to (this is particularly important when it comes to art galleries and coffee shops. Sometimes a girl just likes to hang out, ya know?). 

I can’t even begin to describe how much my personal style has changed. I was always a fan of dressing differently, but also had to try and do this in a way that avoided getting bullied at school for it, so it was a fine line that I was constantly tripping on. Now, I try not to give a fuck what other people think of my choices. I still have a shitty little voice in my head that comments on other people’s dress sense (mostly just thinking how unflattering something is for their body shape – bloody Trinny and Susannah have brainwashed me!) but I always follow it up with thinking “as long as they feel comfortable/good that’s all that matters”. I think my dress sense is pretty tame on the world scale, but unfortunately most people in small towns/cities don’t actually consider that to be a thing, and enjoy the odd stare here and there because they simply don’t get it.  Being an adult has taught me that, and given me the confidence to wear things that I love and not care about the irrelevant stares. 

This mindset also affects your personal appearance too. It takes time to build up confidence and resilience against the stares of strangers. When you’re young and vulnerable and haven’t seen much of the world (or understand it yet), it’s hard not to be constantly worrying how you are reflected in others’ eyes. Getting tattoos was something that really flipped this switch for me. I knew people were going to stare. I knew they were going to comment. I knew they weren’t going to understand the meaning even when I told them “it’s lyrics from a song I like”, but I got the suckers anyway. And I love each and every one of my tattoos and wouldn’t remove them for anyone. 

As usual, this post has kind of strayed from the original focus, but it also hasn’t. Reflecting on all of these aspects of my life just proves how much I’ve grown and bloomed since becoming an adult. I’m never going to be I’m the poster girl for how it’s done, or pretend like I didn’t screw up here and there, but I’ve made it this far and certainly don’t want to look back. 

I like having the space and freedom to come home and take my bra and pants off and make tea at all hours and write when I’m feeling inspired. I like not having to care about school politics or getting in trouble for not wearing my ugly formal uniform on Fridays. I like being able to sleep next to my boyfriend without having to ask for permission for a sleepover. I like it all, honestly. Even the bill paying. It’s kind of satisfying knowing that I’m doing okay enough to pay my bills and eat and have fun money left on the side. Hell, it’s just nice not having to do the dishes every night.

 

The Topic No One Wants To Talk About

Hi friends,

I’m going to slap a warning label on right here and now: if you’re uncomfortable reading about suicide, then this post isn’t for you. But then again, who can say they are 100% comfortable with discussing and/or reading about such a grim topic?

I know this is quite different from my usual content, but I like to write about things that are important to me, and this topic is something I not only feel strongly about bringing awareness to, but have felt the after effects of firsthand. 

Thinking about it now, I don’t think I’ve ever properly written down my feelings or experiences regarding this. I’ve talked about it, because not talking about it would’ve sent me mad, but it’s not something you can just bring up at a dinner party or ask your friends about. 

It’s a yucky topic. An uncomfortable word. Suicide. Oh, the taboos that surround that phrase. I guess you’re probably wondering why I decided to discuss it now, and if everything is okay.

Am I okay? Yes, absolutely. Was I always okay? No. Have I been directed affected by suicide? Unfortunately, yes. Now I don’t know who exactly does read this blog, and how many of you know me personally (and how well), but it’s possible that me talking about this is going to ruffle some feathers. Although, seriously, fuck that. Because every year I have to put up with the Facebook posts and the pictures accompanied by thoughts and short stories about how close all these people were to her and how quickly time has gone by. And I don’t have anything against this method of coping, but it does always disappoint me that no one has the guts to talk about how she was “taken from this earth too soon”. Why try and sugar coat it? Our friend was 12-years-old, and she killed herself. I never got to ultimately know the finer details, but it sounded like it was an accident. Like you didn’t really understand what you were doing until it was too late.

It’s an extremely sensitive topic, and one that effects everyone differently. You’ll never begin to imagine how it feels to be related to or be friends with someone who’s taken their own life, until you are, and you’re left behind to figure out what comes next.

The worst part about the whole situation was afterwards. How the teachers didn’t really know who her close friends were. How I was told by my friends before school started, before I had even sat down at our usual spot. How I didn’t believe what I was hearing. How afterward all of these people who barely knew her came forward and made the biggest fuss out of all of us, trying to grab attention for something they should’ve left alone. I remember not being able to fly down for her funeral, so I had to settle for going to a wake in a church that I had never stepped foot in, and one that I would never go near again.

That how later on we were told about the signs. The signs that they needed help. The signs that we were supposed to look out for, even though we weren’t even teenagers and barely knew what was going on in our own heads, let alone someone elses’. How now looking back, you did seem distant. You were upset because some of the older girls were teasing you (assholes). How, at one of our swimming lessons you gave me a little dragon ornament tied on a friendship bracelet; a trinket I thought you had so deeply treasured, given to me as a gift without a second of hesitation. 

Being close to you and not even considering that something was that wrong, is the thing I regret the most. But at the other end of the spectrum, I wish you had reached out to me. We shared a lot of things with each other, and I wish you had felt you could come to me with any doubts you had. 

If anything good has come out of this, it’s how much more empathetic I’ve become. How that if I see someone seeming down, I make a point to ask them if they’re okay, and show that I’ll be there if they’re not. I’m proud of how seriously I take depression, and refuse to brush it under the rug with prescription meds and reckless thoughts such as, “they’re just having a hard time right now”. How I am eerily drawn to books that involve young adults suffering mental health problems, and how most of the time, I have absolutely no idea that’s what the story line surrounds when I pick it up (seriously, it’s bizarre how many times this has happened. Just from reading a god-damned blurb). It almost seems as if I am unconsciously searching, to be able to understand what was going on in your head in those last few days, because you never told me why. 

If you’re wondering what prompted this post, it was watching 13 Reasons Why. I’m sure most of you would’ve seen it by now, but after reading the book a while ago I was pretty excited to see it brought to life, and boy did they do a spectacular job at it. I knew what I was in for, but it didn’t make it any easier to watch, or stop the tears from falling during those scenes. It’s an amazing show, and Netflix did a brilliant job making sure everything was raw and authentic, and they didn’t try to sugar coat the bad shit. After watching Episode 14, which is kind of a bonus segment of interviews, I was completely moved. I won’t go too much into it, but even if you weren’t a fan of the show you should watch that episode.

I think I’ve summed up everything I needed to say, and it feels good to finally document it and not be afraid to air my thoughts. Year after year, on the anniversary of her death, and her birthday, I see post after post and I always keep quiet because well, what the hell can I say to make any of it better? It’s been 10 years since our world got flipped upside down, and now I think the most important thing is to spread awareness about suicide. I know a lot of people joking say, “oh, I could kill myself!” because they’re having a shit day, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t dig a little deeper. Just in case. 

Because it’s all well and good to write these kinds of posts and repost pictures on Facebook, but if you’re not out there actually asking people if they’re okay, or if they need to talk, then you’re not really helping at all. It’s crazy something as simple as a question can make someone feel valued, and it seriously costs fucking nothing to be kind. 

So I hope this helps you. I can’t say that reading other people’s thoughts can fix everything, but at least it might help you understand a little better. Everyone is going through shit, so be nice 🙂

Till next time,

Viv  xo

Not From This Decade

I’ve always been a girl who dreams about the past. Not my past, specifically, but the past of this planet. Of times throughout the ages and what the people were like then. How did they feel without technology? Were they bored, or did they feel more free?

I’ve always had a soft spot for the 60’s, 70’s and 90’s. I don’t know why, but I’ve been obsessed with the styling and the lifestyles and what everyday life was like since as long as I can remember. I know I can ask people who grew up in these decades for their personal recounts, but it will never be the same as experiencing it first hand. If time travel was a thing I would totally be one of those lame people who simply wanted to stroll around looking at everything, and admiring all of the ornate details like plate sizes and shop fit outs and hair styles.

If I could corner one of the locals, I would pretend that I fit in, ordering a black coffee and a slab of pie (okay, I know I grew up in Australia but still – what a classic dish!) and then badger them with the most appearingly-mundane questions I could come up with. What did it feel like to be going to the first cinema in the state? What was the most forward-thinking thing a teacher said to you in high school? How do you spend your evenings? What is your current favourite book? How expensive is it to fly to Paris?

I don’t know why I haven’t just asked my grandparents these things. They’ve lived through it all, and have quite a few stories up their sleeves. I just find it so fascinating that back in the 70’s, there were 22-year-olds walking around in their ‘present day’, with big dreams and driving now-vintage cars. Did they feel like they were living in an advanced world, or did they still recognise that we had much further to go? Did they still believe that they should be married by now, or did they give a finger to the man and run away from home at 18? 

Did they feel overwhelmed, with how big and innovative the world was becoming? How old were they when they got their first job, and did they like the one they were in now? Did their parents encourage them to chase their dreams, or did they settle for a suitable job in their hometown because it was ‘safe’?

Of course I would want to know about the festivals. Oh, the festivals. And the gigs. And the world tours. Tell me everything. What was it like seeing Blink 182 play in their early days? How loud did people scream at AC/DC concerts? Did they ever cry seeing their favourite band for the first time? How captivating was Jimi Hendrix in real life? Please tell me you got a chance to see The Smiths?!

I would also want to know every little detail about New York. Tell me about how wild it really was at Studio 54? How did the men dress? How did the women dress? What was it like to be in the LGBT in such crazy times? What makeup did people wear? Hell, did business women even give a damn about makeup? What was it like to walk down the streets at 3am on a Tuesday night? How did Times Square feel back then? Were you feeling inundated with advertisements, or filled with wonder by all the pretty lights? 

And how often do you talk to your friends on the phone? Do you still write to your childhood best friend, or have you drifted apart? How important do you think it is to have real connection with the people you surround yourself with? Could you ever imagine relying on a piece of metal and glass to keep you connected to the world? 

What do you do with your free time? Do you holiday often, or do you save up for that family vacation to the same spot every year? Have you ever been to a lake house and gazed at the stars? How does the air feel? Do you ever have any breathing problems, or get hay fever in the spring? Have you ever been on an airplane, or even out of the country? Where have you always dreamed of going, and why haven’t you been yet?

I know these may seem like weird questions, but I can only imagine how diverse the answers would be compared to that of a young adult in 2017. I would want to know everything. What was their biggest problem in life? If they could do one thing tomorrow, what would it be? Did they feel like they were born in the wrong decade too?

Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful to be this age, living in this year, with the luxuries that I have. But it doesn’t matter how many history books I read, or how many films use 1960’s inspired sets, or how many times I Pin stills from Empire Records, I will never have been in those times at this age. And I never will. Weird isn’t it, to think on this level. It’s also incredibly cool too, because well, we get to imagine the best of past, and didn’t have to experience the worst of it.

If you’re still with me, then thanks. Maybe this piece gave you wave of nostalgia for a time you never lived in. Maybe it only made you wish how desperately you were born earlier, in “simpler” times. Or maybe it just made you feel content, and glad to be apart of it all.

 

Till next time,

Viv  x

 

REMINDER: Stop Being So F**king Hard on Yourself

I jotted the idea for this post down a while ago, probably in a moment when I was literally thinking these exact words to myself: stop being so fucking hard on yourself! I have no idea what I was doing or why my brain had resorted back to auto-asshole mode, but unfortunately I can’t say it was the last time something like this happened.

The truth is, I am way too fucking hard on myself. My “ideal” discipline levels rival that of a drill sergeant, and I am still yet to stay up past my bedtime (12am) without feeling guilty or like I am cheating on my routine.

Quite frankly, it’s a little pathetic, but it’s something that I think all of us can relate to. Going to a friend’s house when you’re behind on a deadline. Saying no to an extra shift at work because you already have plans. Picking out a block of chocolate and the good old “junk food guilt” setting in. And that’s before we’ve even left the aisle! 

The instant we make decisions (and usually beforehand), our brain likes to assess if we’ve done something good or bad. Right or wrong. Positive or negative. Basically, does it align with our moral code or not? 

It’s a rickety bridge to cross, and one that I find myself slipping on all too often. I hate that I am constantly critiquing myself and my decisions, and questioning how I spend every minute of my time awake (and when I’m supposed to be asleep) and if it is “productive”. Ugh. Even I’m feeling bored typing that.

If you don’t quite know where I’m coming from (and boy, must that be nice) here are some examples of self-crituqing/questioning that I come across on the daily:

Pouring milk into my cereal/tea: Am I consuming too much milk? Am I a horrible person for using it? Will I get enough calcium if I stop? Why can’t my tastebuds just accept almond milk already?!

Buying takeaway/going out for food: Do you really need to be spending this much on food? Think of what you could do with all of this saved up! Why don’t you have any self control? Why do you even care about eating nice things? 

Not working on assignments: Why are you so lazy? Don’t you realise that you’re only hurting yourself by wasting time now and stressing out later? Why can’t you be more motivated? This is why you’re not at the top of your game.

Looking at online stores: Why do you even bother when you don’t have the money to buy that stuff? This is just asking to be tempted. Look how much time you’ve wasted with nothing to show for it?

Again, ugh. This whole self-loathing/brain-bashing(me) thing is simply not cute. Reading back on that makes me want to tell the person saying those things to fuck off. It really is true when they say that your worst critic is yourself. I can 100% relate to that, and it sucks. Writing this is making me feel annoyed that I still give time to the part of my brain that comes up with this bullshit. And by this bullshit, I mean negativity. Again: NOT CUTE.

It’s interesting how some of these critiques have actually stemmed from other people’s opinions. And not necessarily ones of me, but opinions of other people not meeting their high standards – if that makes any sense at all. The term school rings a few bells there.

School was definitely the worst when it came to constantly trying to live up to other’s expectations and rules, and I guess that after being trapped in the classroom for 12 years we’ve walked away not only with a diploma, but some unwanted standards that we still try to live up to.

It’s silly, I know, but that’s just the reality of it. There’s always someone expecting something from us, whether that be a teacher, a parent or a boss. We’re constantly trying to cycle through information and regulations and darn dress codes that it sometimes leaves little room for some much needed soul searching. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to sell all your shit and jump on a plane to India, but it does mean you need some time out to reflect. 

I’ve found one thing in particular that really helps is doing a social media cleanse. AKA sorting through your “follow” lists and getting rid of all the assholes who make you feel bad about yourself. I’m sure they’re lovely people, but if they’re posting about getting up at 5am everyday and this results in you feeling guilty for waking up at 7, well…there’s no feed aesthetically pleasing enough to fix that. They’ve gotta go!

If they genuinely are your be all and end all of “goals” then sure, keep them around, but don’t be fooled into thinking that just because you look up to them that you will ever have the same routine/lifestyle as them. If only it were that easy, hey. 

I guess all that I wanted to say with this post is to stop feeling bad about the occasional chocolate bar. YES, I KNOW SUGAR IS BAD FOR ME, PETE EVANS. But that’s not going to stop me from putting it in my cup of tea because i enjoy it. Of course, everything in moderation, but comparing ourselves to others when we’re feeling guilty about an action is only going to make things a shit-tonne worse. So let’s all take a deep breath, admit that maybe we should’ve done things a little differently and MOVE THE FUCK ON.

Sorry, I know there’s been a lot of swearing in this, but it’s the kind of pep talk that NEEDS swearing. All the best ones have them, didn’t you know?

I’m going to stop here, before I go off on a tangent about god knows what next, haha. I hope you found this piece enlightening, or at the very least you can finish reading it and think “at least I’m not as screwed up as her”. Therapy for me and a pick-me-up for you, it’s a win win 🙂

Till next time (if I haven’t scared you off with my ranting), 

Viv   x

 

 

Faves And Finds #5

Hey friends,

Let me start by giving you a welcome warning that this post is big. After having a  a quick flick through the old archives (and I mean that literally – I went through all of the old ones) I realised that in the 2+ years that I’ve been running this blog I’ve only hit publish on four favourites posts. Yes, that’s pathetic, I know. I suppose it’s due to a lack of buying/discovering new things all that often, plus I am super fussy when it comes to TV shows/clothes/trying new things on a menu that also serves my favourite meal. 

I’ve tried to keep it as short and brief as possible, and as usual it’s a totally random range of things that I could come up with in the last 15 minutes that I have been loving in the last 6 months, so I’m expecting to forget a few. The music playlist is a particularly long one, but boy are there some gems in there! I’m considering making a playlist on Spotify for all the music I mention in these posts, so let me know if that’s something that you’re interested in seeing 🙂

Until then, let’s jump right into it. 

 

Food:

Homemade Thai Green Chicken Curry – I found a bloody amazing recipe here and have been making it every couple of weeks for James & I. Such a tasty, flavoursome dish and one that will be perfect in the upcoming winter months. 

Experimental Dinners – These have become quite a ‘thing’ for James & I on those nights when I/we are at the shops and have no frigging idea what to cook for dinner (let’s just say you’ll never catch us applying for Masterchef). The results of these mishmash meals have been quite interesting, but we made a really delicious one last week where we simply steamed then roasted some baby potatoes (seasoned with paprika, garlic powder & S+P), steamed then fried up some broccolini, green beans and mushrooms in some Nuttelex (vegetable butter) and garlic powder. Served with cucumber and cherry tomatoes. Super, super simple, but actually so delicious, reasonably healthy and vegetarian. I’ll definitely be making it again. 

Jamie Oliver Chicken Fillets – So this section makes it look like I eat chicken every flipping day – which I don’t – but it is the main meat I eat so I’ve learnt to have fun with it. In short: these bad boys are amazing. So easy to cook, and filling enough to pair it with some veggies and you’re good to go. James and I usually go for the cajun spiced option and it never disappoints. 

Schnitz – My tastebuds’ wishes were granted with the recent opening of this baby in Cairns. My little slice of Melbourne is exactly as I’d hoped, with the schnitzels being delicious, the chips to die for, and the restaurant fit out oh-so-cool. Find your nearest here

Acai Bowls (still) – In case you missed the last 100 times that I mentioned how much I love acai bowls. I’ve definitely fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to making them at home (the heat doesn’t help either – my bananas brown faster than I can blink at the moment) but they are slowly becoming a regular on the breakfast menu at restaurants, making me one happy gal indeed. My favourite place in Cairns for acai is Little Loco Cafe Kitchen on the Esplanade. Super affordable and yummy. 

 

Books: 

I’m not going to go into too much detail about these books as I have an upcoming blog post planned involving some of them, but these are some of the titles I’ve been loving (and living by) these past few months. 

The Happiness Project – Gretchen Rubin

Better Than Before – Gretchen Rubin

Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert

The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving A Fuck – Sarah Knight

Murder House – James Patterson

Words in Deep Blue – Cath Crowley 

 

TV:

True Detective – Why the hell didn’t I watch this sooner? Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are a match made in heaven for this show, and they played their parts perfectly. I don’t want to give too much away, but if you’re a crime fan then this show will totally be up your alley. Just be prepared to binge, because you won’t be able to help it. (P.S. How frigging cool is the cover photo?

Sherlock – Another amazing show that I jumped on board super late with. I really don’t know how I lived happily without Sherlock and John in my life. I’ve never found a show that has fitted my humour so perfectly, all whilst being totally engrossing and thrilling. 10000000/10, watch it immediately. 

Mr. Robot – If you’ve watched all three of these shows then you will see that there’s a slight (albeit unintentional) theme here, but I’m not gonna say how/what because, spoilers. How do I even describe Mr. Robot? Well it’s super cool and badass, and makes you appreciate geeks and the power hackers have in the world. It will also make you hate Evil Corp, question everything and generally just fall in love with Elliot even though he’s a little bizarre. 

 

Movies:

Empire Records – How the hell did I live for 21 years without seeing this film? Why didn’t my parents show it to me? Why wasn’t it watched mandatorily at school? After seeing it for the first time it instantly became a cult classic for me, and I don’t often make these judgements, but I’ve seen it twice now, and it’s one of my favourite movies. Everything about it was just rad, the soundtrack is just so flipping cool. If you too were sadly deprived of seeing this, I suggest opening up a new tab and watching it immediately. 

Four Weddings and a Funeral – A total 90’s classic that I remember watching as a very small child, and only recently rewatched properly from start to finish. And my god, did I fall in love. The cast were magnificent, and I couldn’t help but wish I had a group of friends so hilarious and eclectic as the ones Hugh’s snagged in that film. 

Doctor Strange – One of my favourite Marvel movies to date, being everything I could’ve dreamed of and some. I never really knew the origin stories of Doctor Strange, having grown up on X-men and Spiderman this was a really cool take on the Marvelverse. Is number 2 out already? I’m in need. 

Alien (1-4) – Sigourney Weaver is probably the most badass bitch I’ve ever seen, making me fall 100% in love with her and want to name my future child Ripley. Also, let’s just take a minute for the Ripley & Winona combo in Alien: Resurrection. I’m SO bloody excited for the new one to come out this year, but what a shame it doesn’t include any of the originals anymore.

 

Blogs:

I’ve been super into reading about entrepreneurship and small business start ups lately, and the blogs of these two companies have been absolute godsends. Both Tess (SBD) and Kaylene (SUC) are both girl bosses who went against the grain and started their own businesses solo and in their 20’s, and as a result have a world of practical knowledge and advice to offer. Plus, their instagrams are super cute, and when I’ve got the cash I’ll probably be hitting them up respectively for a new website design and some business coaching. 

StartUp Creative 

Smack Bang Designs

 

Music:

I’ve been loving a LOT of different stuff these last few months. I haven’t quite reached my goal of listening to a new album every week, but I think I’m doing okay. Here are a few from my playlist:

Come On Eileen – Dexy’s Midnight Runners

Video Killed the Radio Star – The Buggles

The Empire Records Soundtrack 

Birthdays – The Smith Street Band

East London Summer – The Smith Street Band

Ducks Fly Together – The Smith Street Band

Trust – Flume ft. Isabella Manfredi

What Can I Do If the Fire Goes Out? – Gang Of Youths

Last Nite – The Strokes

Someday – The Strokes

Under the Cover of Darkness – The Strokes

Mr. Brightside – The Killers

Sam’s Town – The Killers

Not In Love – Crystal Castles

Please, Please Please Let Me Get What I Want – The Smiths

My Boo – Flume ft. Vince Staples, Kucka, Ngaiire & Vera Blue

Summer – Paris Jones ft. April Kelly & B.A Scott

World of Our Love – Client Liason

Misery Business – Paramore

Talk – George Maple ft. DJ Snake

 

Wellness:

Again, this topic is something that I plan to go deeper into in the coming weeks, but I thought I’d sneak it in because it’s been a strong focal point in my life for these past few months. If you read my previous post on meditation then you’ll know it’s a practice I started back in December and aim to make a part of my everyday life. Another act that ties in naturally with mediation is the practice of gratitude, or more simply, actively being grateful for the things in your life. I’m not saying I’ve reached enlightenment (yet) by doing this, but it’s such an easy and enjoyable way to feel better about what you have and truly learn to appreciate those around you. I don’t necessarily sit down and think about what I’m grateful for everyday, but I try to consciously think about it as often as I can, and I feel like a happier, more content person for it. 

I’ve also started researching the practice of manifesting and visualisation, and am very excited to see where they take me. I’ve watched/read about some amazing stories that people have shared about manifestation, so I’m pretty intrigued to see where this can lead. 

 

Other Bits & Bobs:

Habits Workshops @ Kikki K – This was actually the first workshop I’ve done outside of school, and on my own terms. After reading ‘Better Than Before’ I was super motivated to kick-start some new positive habits and learn how to avoid the bad ones. As soon as I heard that Kikki K do workshops based around the book I jumped straight in and signed up for the first one I could. Don’t get me wrong, I loved reading Gretchen’s book and gained so many useful tips from it, but there’s nothing quite like hearing the knowledge in person. You can sign yourself up for a Habits workshop here (P.S. there’s goodie bags and champagne. What more could you ask for?)

Habits Tracker A6 Book (Kikki K) – Unfortunately this little guy isn’t available online anymore, but all it is is a little notebook with a page full of 66 boxes you can tick off – each box is a day that you completed said habit. Studies have shown that it actually takes 66 days for humans to form and solidify new habits, and despite how simple and small this task is, it 100% works as a motivation tool. Knowing that you’ve got 7 ticks for the week is too satisfying to put into words. 

Pinterest – Ever since starting uni again I have jumped on board the Pinterest train with no regrets. I especially love how our course actually encourages us to look on their and gain inspiration from the content others upload (it’s amazing what you can find with that search bar). I’m enjoying it so much that I’ve actually linked my account on the bottom of this blog, otherwise you can check out what I’m pinning here (hint: it usually involves 90’s movies and plants). 

Arnhem Clothing – I recently mentioned Arnhem in my Festival Outfits post but I had to give them some more love. I currently own three pieces from this oh-so-cool Byron brand,  and to this day I am still very impressed by the quality and detailing of these garments. If I had the cash, my wardrobe would probably be 90% Arnhem, as they stock everything from swimwear to adorable maxi dresses to dreamy basics to to die for lingerie. I highly recommend checking them out, but only if you’re prepared to be lusting over everything

Framing Magazine Pages – This may sound a little random, but I recently went through my old stack of Collective Hub magazines and decided to rip out all of the pictures/articles/artist takeovers that I loved. I was left with quite a big stack of pages, and without any spare cork boards to fill, I decided to buy a cheap A4 box frame from a discount store and stick one of the pages in there. The result is a super cute framed print for my desk, and one that can be easy changed or added to a feature wall. 

 

Yes, okay, I really better stop now. I guess that’s what happens when you have to lump so many cool things into one little post. Hope you liked it!

Till next time,

Viv  x

 

Gig Snaps: The Rubens

Aloha pals!

So after a very long a drawn out process with Kmart (and a good year’s worth of procrastination beforehand on my part) I FINALLY got my roll of film developed from The Rubens’ last Cairns gig (October 2015). It was my first time seeing them live, and to be honest, I didn’t really know any of their songs aside from Hoops – but in just a few short hours at Tanks my love affair began.

 I’m not going to attempt to verbalise how swoony they are to see live, or how utterly charismatic the lead singer Sam is (oh baby), so I will summarise it all into the following: 

Do yourself a favour a go see them live. You’re welcome. 

Unfortunately, I think the film got damaged at some point because only a few photos actually developed, and the ones that did aren’t the most spectacular quality *insert a bunch of the laughing/crying emojis here* but I still love them nonetheless. I don’t know how I managed to do some double exposures, but it is now my new favourite photographic effect and I’m definitely going to learn how to do them properly for future shots.

Enjoy!

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbHAutosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbHAutosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbHAutosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbHAutosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbHAutosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbHAutosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

 

 

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

2017 Goals

It’s a funny thing, isn’t it, turning another year older? Since my birthday falls on New Years Day, I often find myself reflecting on the past year and whether or not I feel any older on the day. And the truth is, I never do. I don’t suppose anyone really does, not immediately anyway. Because to me January 1st is just another day in our lives, and yet it is so heavily romanticised to be “that fresh start” and giving everyone hope that “this year will be better than the last” (even though I quite enjoyed 2016 anyway). 

Yet despite these conflicting thoughts, I sit down at the end of each year and write out my goals in attempted seriousness and assume that I will stick to them if they remain in a random notebook on my beside table (this never works) and feebly attempt to “exercise more” and “not let things get to me” (it doesn’t happen) and by the end of February I’ll be grateful if I’ve managed to water the plants once a week and not splurge every time a cute dress appears on Princess Polly. 

 A little dramatic? Maybe. But I think I can speak for a lot of people when I say that having BIG yearly goals just doesn’t cut it for me. I thrive on ‘To Do’ lists and ticking off tedious tasks, and am much more inclined to do something when I have to look at it on my wardrobe door everyday until it’s been accomplished. This is partly why I’m so excited to begin my Happiness Project this year, and although I am already a little behind, I’m excited to see how monthly/daily checklists will impact how well I still to the resolutions. I’m planning to do a whole other post relating to this, and the life-changing book by Gretchen Rubin that has inspired it all.

But in the meantime, I still wanted to have some overall goals for the year. Things that aren’t monumental or particularly hard to do, but things that I often overlook when I start getting busy. Some of them are really simple reminders, whilst others are skills I want to develop or habits I want to create. I’m planning to type these up and make them look cute enough to stick up on the old wardrobe door, with another copy in my planner, so I’m being constantly reminded of the things that I want to achieve because I’m passionate about them.

So without anymore blabbering, here are my goals for 2017, which are quite heavily creativity-based – something I don’t mind one bit.

 

On the blog front:

  • Become more organised and have content scheduled in advance
  • Look at getting a custom layout & a custom domain name
  • Use my blooming graphic design skills to spice up my posts 

And the rest:

  • Get back into film photography & post more photography on the blog (if Kmart ever finds my Rubens snaps)
  • Continue on with my Graphic Design course at full speed and 100% commitment and passion
  • Practice meditation & gratitude daily
  • Get back into weekly yoga classes
  • Collaborate!
  • Create for fun
  • Read EVERY DAY
  • Write more
  • Learn to make/edit videos
  • Learn to skate
  • Save for big ticket items & always put away some money for a “rainy”(catastrophic) day
  • Cook more at home and have lunches organised for each week 
  • Look after my plants
  • Get my ideas down straight away
  • Be more organised with “life admin” stuff

 

Like I said, it’s not an extensive or extravagant list, but they’re realistic goals that I can incorporate into my everyday life, which is how I think they’ll best get achieved. None of these can be ticked off after one attempt, which is probably why they work best as yearly goals, as I will constantly have things to work towards that will make me a happier little human. 

 

Wishing you a happy, full & adventurous new year,

Viv  x

22 Things I’ve Learnt After 22 Trips Around The Sun

  1. Not everyone is going to like your music –  but fuck em. They don’t have to.
  2. A good pair of Converse will get you a LONG way.
  3. Always tie up your docs extra tight, and wear bandaids on your heels if it’s been a while.
  4. Make the first move, ESPECIALLY if you’re a girl. Boys these days aren’t as tough as they seem.
  5. Everyone wants friends, but doesn’t mean they’ll go to the effort to stay as one of yours.
  6. If you think someone is cool, ask them out for coffee. It’s surprisingly not that hard to make friends when you share common ground, even if you are complete strangers.
  7. Stop expecting things to be like they are in the books and movies. Refer back to THAT scene in 500 Days of Summer when necessary.
  8. Sometimes the girls you didn’t know in school become some of the best ones you know as an adult.
  9. Never regret buying art.
  10. There is no greater feeling than seeing your favourite band play your favourite song live.
  11. It’s important to have girlfriends, but seriously hard to find good ones. But don’t give up looking, because they probably live in Brisbane.
  12. Attending Groovin the Moo is one of the few traditions that I actually have (aside from watching Love Actually at Christmas time, of course).
  13. Sitting at a desk/table with a cup of tea and a nice candle burning will instantly make you feel more motivated. 
  14. NEVER give away that band shirt that you once really liked, because you’re guaranteed to fall in love with it again later on in life.
  15. Boys shirts are always better.
  16. Watercolour painting and listening to music is very therapeutic.
  17. Sometimes you’ve just gotta get in your car and drive.
  18. Fisherman’s caps are great for all occasions.
  19. Be friends with people who encourage your creativity.
  20. Really LISTEN to what children say – they are actually the most fascinating people you’ll ever meet.
  21. If you ever feel cranky or pissed off with your partner, just take a pause and hug each other PROPERLY. It’s crazy what a good hug does to your mood.
  22. Loving yourself doesn’t just happen straight away; so don’t feel bad about making splurges on clothing that makes you feel good, because every little bit of self-confidence helps.

 

I like these so much, I think I’ll stick them on the wall.

 

Till next time, 

Viv  x