Monday Mood

Today is the first time in a LONG time where I haven’t had anything scheduled on the blog. I briefly thought about it yesterday, but assumed I had a back up post lying around…but I didn’t. 

I feel like I’ve definitely dropped the ball (man, I hate that expression) with all things non-essential. I’ve been doing the bare minimum at uni, struggling not to fall asleep whenever I sit down after a work day, and have been very lousy on the cooking front. 

I haven’t looked at my goals list in quite a while, but it’s kind of at that point where I’m no longer holding it against myself and throwing all caution and care to the wind. I’ll most likely do an assessment on the blog next week, so stay tuned for how dismally I may or may not have gone with those #2017goals.

On the home life front, things have been busy. My weekends have been filled with shopping trips and outings and visits and catch ups, and it’s been really bloody lovely. James and I finally found a spot at a beach that we both like, so we’re planning regular trips there for Sunday afternoon hot chips. 

We’re also blitzing through Brooklyn 99, which is definitely a contributing factor to my avoidance of other adulty things (i.e. dusting the ceilings and scanning my reciepts). As I write this I’m staring down the barrel of 2 assignments due and an interstate work Christmas party, which all coincidently are happening this weekend. We’re also supposed to be looking for a new place, and are THIS CLOSE to finishing our Christmas shopping – thank the universe for that!

I wish I had some sort of motivational or inspiring moral to this post – but I don’t. I’m as burnt out as them come – and not because I’ve been hanging out in the sun. I think it’s important to show this side though, to say ‘hey, we can all feel a little crap at times’ and get that all out on paper/electronically and be relieved from it.

It’s currently raining – the first proper storm of the summer. It’s loud and cooling, and endlessly relaxing. I just put my crystals out to cleanse them under the full moon, but now they are getting a freshwater soak as well – perfect. 

As I was driving home today I felt the heat – the true heat of summer. It wasn’t muggy, but it was intense. A solid 33 degrees with storm clouds overhead. It made me immensely nostalgic for the summers of my childhood. You could always tell when the wet season was coming. It would become unbearably hot, to the point where even wearing shoes was too much, so you would retreat to the pool/lake which was equally as warm as the outside air. And then you would wait. Right before the first drops, the scent would change. That first few minutes of rain always have the sweetest smell. I can never quite put my finger on it, but it’s one of my favourite scents in the world (a close tie with new books). 

All of our dry washing is now soaked, and the cat was stranded under the car for a good 20 minutes before we realised where she was. The heat has lifted, and all of the windows are open to hear the wonderful sound of rain hitting the pavement and tin rooves. My plants will certainly be enjoying this. 

I think I’ve rambled enough. This post is completely random, and mostly pointless, but now I can go to bed knowing that I didn’t miss an upload, which is a win to me.

Till next time,

Viv 

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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,

Viv 

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,

Viv  

*Image by my cute friend @taylawebbxox

Just Another Confused Gal

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about what I truly enjoy, and what my purpose is in life. Because truth be told – I have no fucking idea!

I hear so much about doing your dharma and finding your purpose and just generally being cosmically aware and on top of things. It sounds amazing, it truly does. I watch/read about certain people and think “YES, that is exactly what they’re supposed to be doing. You can see it in their eyes and in the way they speak. They are so passionate and joyful to be pursuing this path” and then I take a good hard look in the mirror.

Although I am inspired, and definitely find myself getting closer to doing what my soul wants, I’m still miles away from actually taking the steps to pursue it – if that makes sense? 

It seems like everytime I have an ‘aha’ moment, and think I’ve found what I’m destined to do, my heart gradually falls out of love with the idea. Trust me, I’ve got a good $20,000 + university debt to back me up. It appears that it’s what I want, until I actually pull back the curtain on the job/industry and realise it’s not all that everyone says it is. 

Maybe I just quit too easily? Or maybe I’m just not cut out for being a student, because as much as I love learning, it sure is tiresome. I used to see people studying in libraries or working on papers and think they looked so cool and passionate and like they had their shit together, when in reality they had probably left the house for the first time in 4 days and were working on a 12am deadline.

I’ve always seemed to romantise higher education, and that is 100% because of teen TV shows and young adult novels. Every bloody character seems to be looking at colleges or studying for exams, and there’s always the one annoying character who is completely confident about their 10 year plan. I’d like to say I once had one of those, but that’d be a joke. The extent of my planning is wanting to move to Melbourne by the time I’m 25, and to own a house at some point thereafter. And ya know, jetset off to Europe and New York in between.

We went through school thinking that university would have the answers. That we would flip through a catalogue, point to a degree, and 3 years later we’d be graduated with all of our problems solved. I remember sometime in grade 11 when I was at the school dentist and we had one of those rare moments before they wrench open your mouth where we got to chat. We were talking life after school (standard) and I must’ve confessed that I was torn between professions. Then she gave me an incredible yet realistic piece of advice: she was in her 30s and had moved throughout 3 separate careers, so if she could do it then I definitely could. 

It was such a simple concept but one that gave me ease. Okay, so I could do it all – now I just had to decide what to do first. 

Fast forward to now — and I am more fucking confused than ever. I know what I enjoy doing, but how do I make money out of it? For instance, I love writing for this blog, and writing in general. I’d love to make blogging/writing a full time thing, but how does one do that without being a fashion or beauty blogger? How can I sell you a product without getting a photographer on board, as well as lighting equipment and some cute flatlay backgrounds (not to mention a well lit apartment – because mine currently sucks in that department)? Or is that just all part of the job? Invest in gear, to be invested in by others – that kind of thing?

As you may know, I’m also currently studying graphic design, but I am quickly learning that taking in all kinds of clients isn’t exactly easy or rewarding. How can I be an independent business that attracts collaborations and clients who can appreciate my work?

I’m sure there are books out there with the answers I seek. There’s probably blogs, even. But right now I just need a sign. Tell me universe, what should my next move be? How will I know when it’s time to dive into the freelance world, and become a multi-hypened milennial? 

I’m not interested in building an empire, but I do want to grow a collective, and collaborate with all of the rad individuals that are only a message away. I think it’s time to do some serious goal writing, and work out what the hell to do next. I’m still young, I know that, but I feel like I’ve wasted so much time ‘career’ (ugh, I hate that word) wise already, so I want to get on the right path. And soon would be great.

If you have any books/blogs/articles/podcasts you can recommend on this kind of thing, that would be AMAZING. I surround myself with a lot of good content, but sometimes you need a fresh recommendation or perspective to do the trick.

Some of the publications/people that I love are:

Digital

Smack Bang Designs

Start Up Creative

By Lucinda

Lisa Messanger

Emma Gannon

Cartia Mallan

Julia George

Rochelle Fox & Chris Soll

 

Print

Collective Hub magazine

Money and Mindfulness – Lisa Messanger

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Frankie magazine

Material Girl, Mystical World by Ruby Warrington

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

 

If nothing else, I hope you like some of my recommendations. And don’t worry – we’ve got this! 

– It just may take a little time ❤

(Not So) Picture Perfect

Mental health is a really hard thing to talk about. Hell, it’s hard to even think about, let alone acknowledge that you are suffering. The stigma is real, my friends. 

I’ll be honest with you – I am luckier than most. I have good, albeit tired, days 95% of the time. Usually, I can manage this pesky little demon and go about my life worrying about regular dumb stuff like money and bills and not having been to Europe yet. But the other 5% of the time fucking sucks. My brain gets locked on, as JJ would say, and spirals again and again, leaping from one disastrous thought to another.

It’s at the point where it’s affecting others. There have been days where I haven’t been able to go to work, or went and left after a few hours because I was such a mess mentally. I break down in front of my boyfriend and start dissecting things that a normal person wouldn’t care about. My brain plays tricks on me saying this isn’t enough, how I’m living isn’t enough, and I begin to fret that I’m wasting my life away.

I’m too ashamed to talk to others about this because I’ve always been the strong one. Viv can keep her shit together, even though she has rotten genes and her brothers have suffered from much worse issues. Sure, she had a rough few years there back in high school, but she came through and now you can’t even tell how shattered she once was!

It’s so fucking easy for everyone around us to put pressure and expectations on us without considering how it affects our being. We all expect each other to just get on and do our jobs and keep the house tidy and mow the lawn and dust the cobwebs and laugh when it’s appropriate when really, it’s not always so simple.

I’ve learned that a messy space stresses me out – a reflection of my brain perhaps? – and yet I continue to end up in messy areas because I can’t keep up. I’m shit at housework, I’ll be the first to admit that, and whilst my house is still tidy from a general point of view, the little things irritate me and keep crawling deeper and deeper into the cracks. 

A really great example of this is our rug – it often gets moved out of place because it sits under two chairs that tend to move (really must get grips for their feet) and then once the rug is unstraightened/crumpled up I start fretting. I get distracted and can’t concentrate and continue to glance over at it wondering why James hasn’t moved it yet, over and over again until I jump up in a huff to fix up the whole room.

It’s strange, having a mental illness (even writing that was really uncomfortable to do). I get so upset and frustrated because James can’t pick up on the signs, and yet I rarely display any physical ones. I can appear perfectly fine, and feel perfectly fine one moment, and it only takes one weird comment or sprouted thought to send me into the darkness.

Writing and speaking about this in general is difficult, mostly because I know I have it better than most. I’m still able to maintain a steady job and work hard and appear fine, and I don’t often have a weight on my chest that refuses to let me out of bed. I’m not taking any medication, and I haven’t been diagnosed and I don’t see a therapist (although it’s something I’m looking into since those suckers are trained to listen to this shit and might even understand), so I’m pretty lucky that things haven’t reached that level. And I won’t ever let them, but it’s still not exactly a comforting thought.

I often find myself getting jealous of the people I follow on social media. Not because they have insanely cool houses or jobs – I know I can work hard and achieve that – but because of how happy they seem. And how everything seriously seems to go their way. Obviously, I’m not talking about everyone, and I know that a lot of shit goes on behind the scenes, but it’s still hard sometimes watching these bloggers get whisked off on paid trips Paris here and here, whilst I can’t rack up the courage to ask for a mental health day.

Mental health is tricky, because you know there are people suffering more intensely out there, and you know there are entire third world countries dealing with bucketloads of more catastrophic shit, but ultimately, knowing these facts don’t make you get better. Our brains are a complicated and intricate mess of thoughts and actions and magic. The things we can do because of them are phenomenal, but they can also turn us against ourselves.

I wish I could say I have some wonderful solution or ‘5 steps to…’ offering to say that I’ve got this figured out. But I don’t. Not having a backup plan worries me even more, because I know that when the demons do come, I don’t have a clear action plan on how to stop them.

I know there are lots of things I should be doing – exercise, meditation, healthy eating, yadda yadda – but half my problem is finding the motivation to make that first step, and then sticking to it. I feel like I have to work 5 times harder than most people to successfully complete a self-care task that I will benefit from – which is absolutely shocking and makes me feel even more shit about. It’s a vicious cycle. 

I think that’s all for now. I’m writing this on a day when I am feeling horrible. Crying, dark thoughts, lack of motivation, feelings of hopelessness, etc. etc. and writing has helped. I’m finding myself journalling a lot more now, which is a fantastic option when you don’t feel like “burdening” other people with your thoughts (because let’s face it, we’re all as fucked up as each other, and sometimes others can’t handle the emotional stress of it all). 

So that’s basically all the advice I can give. Write lots. Drink plenty of tea. Take a day off when your body tells you to. And then breathe, and find comfort through safe activities.

Till next time,

Viv  xo

 

Somewhere in the Middle

Over the past few months, I’ve noticed a certain shift in my likes. Okay, likes isn’t really the right word. It’s more the things I relate to – specifically, the books and articles I read. I’m finding myself very much in the middle of two massive shifts right now. 

The days of my youth are slowly fading into memories, yet the big leaps of adulthood (buying a house, getting married, children, etc.) are very much far off in the distance. It’s like I’m floating on a sea of confetti, and each piece I pick up is a completely different experience from the next. Does that make sense? Probably not, but hey, that’s where I’m hanging at the moment, what about you?

I’m finding it harder and harder to relate to Young Adult novels, which kills me because it has always been my favourite genre. There are some YA writers with phenomenal talents out there, and I still adore the way they loop and twist their words to create stories. But I’m struggling to really feel there. The storylines don’t necessarily reflect my life anymore. I’m not in year 12, I’m not kissing a boy for the first time, I’m not studying for finals or picking out university courses THANK GOD. 

So whilst I love the writing and genuinely look up to a lot of YA authors, I find myself searching for longer and longer to find a book that captures my interest via the cover and the blurb.

So why don’t I just check out the general fiction, you may ask. Well, I don’t know if anyone feels this way too, but it’s a bloody MINEFIELD. There are SO many authors, and titles and covers, and alphabetising has quickly become my arch nemesis. How can I possibly find a quirky, clever novel without spending 4 hours taking books on and off the shelves (okay, that wouldn’t actually be too bad, but a gal rarely has 4 hours of browsing up her sleeve)?

Browsing bookstores is one of my favourite past times. The smell of new books is one of my favourite smells in the world, if not my favourite, and it’s kind of become my happy place. How can anyone be pissed off in a bookstore, right? Books are the perfect distraction and the best of friends, so it’s really quite agonising to realise that I can’t find a book for me as quickly as I once could.

Plus, I feel too young to be reading about divorces and middle-aged suburban dramas and desperate housewives and rich CEOs (I have told several people to smack me if I ever pick up 50 Shades of Grey). I’m still a reckless young soul who wants stories filled with excitement and wonder and witty romances and badass characters. I still love Harry Potter and Maximum Ride and The Hunger Games and books about mental health and memoirs written by 20-somethings. Surely my interests are too spritely to warrant a trip to bestsellers?

In saying that, I do love anything written by James Patterson or Zoe Foster Blake, neither of whom write for a YA audience. So maybe there is some hope for me still. But in the meantime, if you can recommend any good books written about 20-somethings that would be FANTASTIC! I am in a serious literary slump at the moment and I need some inspiration ASAP.

Till next time,

Viv 

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.

Seeking Soul Sisters

It saddens me to say that I haven’t had one, continuous best friend. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course – but man has it been hard.

All through primary school I suffered from this little thing called living in a transit town. I would make amazing friends, friends that I would run amuck with in our street every afternoon or have back to back sleepovers with every weekend we could, but then, one by one, all of these girls left. I went into high school having friends, but no one I could whole-heartedly say “yes, I am their best friend.”

Notice how I said their? That’s because I would often consider someone to be my best of friends, someone I got along with magnificantly and could share secrets with and ask for advice, but I always had this sinking feeling that the feeling wasn’t mutual. There was always someone else – for them at least. 

It didn’t help that one of the girls I was very close to, died when we were 12. That experience, dealing with grief at such a young age, had a waterfall effect for so many things, but now that I really think about it, it fucked me up friend-wise too.

Who knows, maybe some of the girls I was friends with in highschool did consider me to be their BFF (I know one did for certain, but we naturally drifted apart due to distance and having different interests – which is totally okay), but I was too emotionally striken to really believe it. Maybe I still blamed myself for not picking up on Kiara’s warning signs. Maybe I spent too much time creating too many expectations and wishing to escape. Maybe if I’d just got out of my head a little more and stopped thinking so fucking much, things could’ve been different.

But that’s the thing – I am a good friend. I know it. Despite all of my flaws, I care about the people in my life a lot. So why was it so difficult for girls to be my best friend?

Side note – before you think this is trivial – I never gave a shit about calling someone my best friend. I had a best guy friend, for quite a while, but I always longed for that kind of female friendship you always see in books and the movies. The one where the girls have each other’s backs no matter what, and can bitch to about anything and show up to your doorstep with some junk food and alcohol when you’ve had a prick of a week. It’s kind of hard to explain, but I knew something was missing.

I don’t want to seem like I’m complaining about the girls who were my friends in high school. There was a few who were truly amazing friends, and others who I never could quite figure out what they thought about me. I always had this rotten feeling of being second best, which is obviously some internal bullshit that I need to sort out, but it didn’t make things easier.

Maybe this all comes down to me – am I not putting myself out there enough? Do I come across as too whatever to other females? Are they intimidated because I dress a little left-centre and listen to bands they’ve never heard of?

I know my tribe is out there somewhere. I’ve managed to find some fantastic girlfriends already (Tayla, Kasey, Paula, Bea, Danielle, Lauren, Shiv and Tina – I’m looking at you!) but we either a) live plane rides away or b) have impossible schedules so we’re always scurring to try and organise a time to catch up where everyone is free. Adulthood is fucking hard. I never realised how much we took seeing our friends everyday for granted until I moved away from my hometown and had to rely on my shitty mobile phone to stay connected with everyone (which I have a weird love/hate relationship with – but that’s another story). 

In all honesty, I have no idea how to navigate this 21st century friendship game. I’m trying, but am I trying enough? I’m so fucking scared that I’m going to look back on my 20’s and regret not being social enough, or spending enough time with friends. I sit around on Instagram and watch everyone’s stories and see how they’ve all got amazing connections and are having such a fun time and yeah, it sucks.

I think I’ll wrap it up there. I wanted to write this post for a number of reasons, mainly because these thoughts have been lingering at the back of my mind for ages, but also because I know I can’t be the only one feeling like this. It’s definitely a hard topic to talk about, because no one wants to admit that they struggle with making friends, but I think it’s something that we SHOULD bring up in conversation. To banish the stigma and let spread a little more girl love around.

I dunno – maybe none of this makes sense? But it’s good to get it off my chest anyway.

Sending you good friendship vibes,

Viv  xo

 

P.S. Writing out all of the names of my female friends was SO theraputic, and also made me realise that I’m not that bad off at all. I just don’t get to see any of them enough. If you’re ever feeling crap about this sort of thing, I’d definitely recommend making a list. You might even surprise yourself ❤

The Conscious Shopper

Minimalism is still huge, right? Well, as far as I know it is, and whilst I genuinely admire and respect the movement (you’ll regularly find me purging our house to donate things we no longer use), I have my limits.

The truth is, I love to buy things. Not for the sake of buying things, but because I am a magpie and love having my surroundings filled with pretty things. Do these things need to be wildly expensive or one of a kind? No, but they do need to make me happy. 

When you talk about minimalism, a lot of people assume that you don’t own any furniture and your life revolves around the washing machine. I’m sure there are people like that in the world, but that’s not me. I like having my walls covered in art, and I like having my books on display and I like collecting things that have meaning to me. I like having options when I get dressed in the morning, and I like buying beautiful clothes that make me feel confident when I wear them.

I’d like to brag about how conscious I’ve always been, and how I’ve never bought a thing I didn’t wholeheartedly want or need in my entire life – but that would be a big fat lie. I’ve always had a strange relationship with money, because I know how to save it, I know how to spend it, and I know how to earn it, but I’ve been known to abuse it. To spend for the sake of spending. To buy garments because they were cheap and because they looked good on the mannequin (hint: they rarely look as good on you as they do on the plastic doll). To splurge on things I didn’t particularly want or need just for the sake of being able to buy them.

It’s such a gross mentality to have, but hey, I grew up in a consumerism-based society. It’s normal, right? It’s funny because I knew I had a problem and yet continued to shop anyway. One memory will always come to mind when I think of this – I had just moved to Cairns and was going to be staying here for 4-6 weeks before moving out to my parents house for the summer and I had a decent bit of money saved up. We were staying near a shopping complex, so naturally, when I was bored after the first couple of days I went shopping. I bought SO MANY THINGS that made my already overflowing suitcase now refused to close, and by the end of the 6 weeks I had barely worn any of them. What made this all worse is that I didn’t have any source of income at the time. I spent a huge chunk of my money on clothing, for the sake of being able to own something new. It was disgusting. I was an idiot. But I was also a teenager who didn’t know any better.

Fast forward three years and I don’t have that luxury of spending to feel better. Yes, I still LOVE buying things, especially the things I put on my wishlist and get to cross off after months of lusting over, but I’m definitely a lot more calculating about it now. As in, bills  and food first, leisure items last.

You’ve probably been reading this and wondering to yourself, what does this have to do with minimalism, Vivienne? Or conscious living, for that matter?

Well, I wanted to share that story because it’s important to remember that we aren’t perfect, but we can also change our ways if we want to. Even when I do save up and have a decent chunk of cash to spend, I only purchase the items I either instantly fall in love with, have been wanting for ages or things I know I’ll keep for years to come (books, records, overalls, etc.). 

Particularly with the fast fashion industry – we can no longer deny the negative impacts it’s having on our planet. It’s horrifying and makes me so disappointed that we are willing to sacrifice the environment and create such a substantial amount of waste for the sake of being on trend. I’ve never been one for trends, but this knowledge has made me avoid them that much more.

Sure, it’s great that gingham is cool again and 70’s silhouettes are easier to find, but it doesn’t mean that we have to buy these things for the sake of buying, only to wear them a couple of times before throwing them out. I hate that I was even a part of that culture, and am definitely paying for it now knowing that I’ve given up some truly great jackets and shirts over the years (oh, the regret!).

It’s hard, because I don’t like the idea of holding on to things simply because I may one day use/wear them again. But on the other end of the spectrum, I loathe the idea of getting rid of something only to long for it a few months later. Stupid, I know, but it’s a predicament many of us face which usually leads to buying another version of the item later on, only to end up in the same ridiculous cycle.

If you anything from this post than I hope it’s to be more concious when you shop. Actually think about how much you like the item, and how often it will be worn/used, what other items (in your wardrobe) it can work with, and if it’s a pricier item, will the cost per wear be worth it? 

I’ll never stop buying pretty things, and I’ll never stop decorating my house, but at least when I do, I can say that I did it with a clear conscious and a happy wallet.

Till next time,

Viv  x

The Eternal Struggle Of Wearing Glasses

From the Archives.

For all those lucky people who will never understand, and for all those brave souls that do.

 

I was 11 years old when certain coloured whiteboard markers became hard to read. I told my parents and teacher as soon as I realised it was ‘only me’ having these troubles, and after a few painstaking weeks of squinting whenever something was written in green, the optometrist finally came to town and demanded I on-the-spot pick one of the 8 pairs that I would regularly have to use for long-distance reading.

Annnnnd it all went downhill from there.

Well, my eyesight certainly did, but thankfully the frame styles drastically improved. I went from thin, metallic purple frames to a thicker black style, which I kept through high school and beyond; with the frames slowly getting thicker and chunkier. I only recently got a new pair and they finally feel like ‘me’. A little bit big, a little big vintage, a little bit kooky and 100% from the men’s section at Specsavers.

Yes, okay, I wear glasses. No big deal! Millions of people wear them for various optical issues, but no optometrist will ever tell you just how FUCKING ANNOYING they can be. So if you’re reading this with your genetically blessed eyeballs and have thought at least once, “ooh, I wish I needed glasses, they look so cute!” then SHADDUP and appreciate how lucky you are and go and buy some fake ones from the chemist.

But if you’re like me and regularly curse the inconvenience, then here are some very relatable issues that make me roll my damaged eyes in exasperation.

 

1. Fog

Everyone has a good old giggle at the poor soul whose glasses fog up when they go from a cold room into the heat or vice versa, but when this happens I secretly wish I was Scott Summers and could take off my foggy spectacles to turn their inconsiderate asses to dust. Okay maybe I don’t get THAT annoyed after 10 years of endurance, but boy does it suck! Especially when you wipe your glasses down and the IMMEDIATELY fog up again. What the hell is up with that?!

 

2. Fringes + Glasses = Frenemies

This is a new one I’ve only recently had to battle with, since getting a long fringe of my own. Without wearing glasses, this bad boy is easy to style and stays relatively well in place throughout the day, but with glasses? Oh boy. Be prepared to be constantly checking your face in reflective surfaces and trying to tuck it behind/under your glasses so it’s not sitting awkwardly on top. Sometimes, when the stars and planets align and there is a double rainbow in the sky, the combo works and your fringe and glasses actually look cute together, but this is rare my friends.

 

3. Hats

And wearing sunglasses with hats doesn’t count, because that’s a CHOICE. My choices are: get sunburnt OR fumble around blindly OR have your hat sit awkwardly looming right above your glasses rims. I do quite enjoy wearing hats for fashion purposes, but 95% of the time I’ll end up using my daily disposable contact lenses so I don’t have to worry about the classic hat/glasses clash. Which brings me to…

 

4. Prescription Sunglasses

An excellent idea in theory, or when you’re driving long distances during the day, but otherwise: a total pain in the ass. Especially when you’re shopping in a super sunny mall/wandering around the city because you’ve got the choice of either a) squinting the entire time and potentially bumping into things, or b) constantly taking your glasses on/off/on/off overtime you venture into a store. And want to add to the awkward shuffle? Be a good glasses owner and take them in and out of their case! Which is good for the lenses but not so good for your time.

 

5. Oily Nose

Yes, it’s gross. Yes, it happens. My nose pores are my biggest problem area and probably always will be, purely because of my bloody glasses slipping down all the time. Even when I wear contacts for a few days in a row, it’s still significantly oiler than the rest of my face (which is a ‘normal’ complexion). So. Not. Fair.

 

6. Finding Frames You Actually Like

In case you were wondering, this is really frigging hard to do, especially if you’re on a budget. Sure, Specsavers have good 2 for 1 deals, and there now are a lot more online glasses retailers that have a ‘try before you buy’ option for their frames, but finding a pair that you genuinely like AND aren’t $500 AND actually suit your face is a fine fucking art.

 

7. Knowing That In A Zombie Apocalypse, You Would Be Totally Screwed

Glasses break? Due for a check up? Run out of contacts? Well you’re utterly 100% SHIT OUT OF LUCK, because even if you do happen to have an optometrist in your survival gang, whose gonna make said glasses/contacts for ya? It honestly scares me, just how much I rely on my glasses to get me through the day, and unfortunately I am yet to be bitten by a radioactive spider that will help with my vision/web making/enhance my skateboarding skills, etc.

 

I think it’s time to wrap this little bitch fest up. Also, disclaimer: I know it could be worse. Despite how much I whinge about wearing glasses (i.e. often) I am grateful that there’s an available solution for my eye deterioration. And that I’m not completely blind. Some days I actually like wearing them, because my current pair and cute and quirky and like my tattoos they add a little something to an outfit without actually having to make any effort. So it’s not all bad!

 

Till next time,

Viv  x