Wine, will you be my valentine?

Roses are red,
violets are blue,
wine costs less
than dinner for two.

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, a day that proves florists are in cahoots with God and where people in functioning successful relationships flaunt their wellbeing before the rest of the world and generally mock the lonely and broken-hearted.
Generally, being alone is a little like having a bruise on your chest — it doesn’t hurt all the time, only when pressure is applied. Valentine’s Day feels like taking a sledgehammer to that bruise thus single people use Valentines Day to become manic-depressive and buy cats.

If history is anything to go by, irrespective of my relationship status I am more likely to spend the day shouting profanities than paying compliments and am more likely to give someone the finger than a kiss.
This year, however, I am changing all that.
After careful consideration, I’ve come to the realiziation that blindly throwing blanket hatred over the whole day is pessimistic and unhealthy and thus this year I am going to embrace St. Valentine and his chocolate shaped heart.

My newfound appreciation for all that is lovey and dovey has led me to investigate the origins of this most holy day. In summary, my research has found that Valentine’s Day was created in the 1700’s by St. Cupid, the patron saint of babies with wings and complaining about commercialisation; and along with Mothers Day and Fathers day, it is one of the most important festivals of the religious calendar.

Having a sound knowledge of the days history and significance leads me to my next obstacle: actually finding a Valentine. Gossip magazines inform me that Mr. Gosling already has plans, my puppy prefers to immediately eat the flowers I give him rather than be a participant in a dramatised ceremony of presenting them to me and my best other Valentine prospect is inconveniently on the other side of the Pacific Ocean.

But fret not, for I have come up with the perfect solution. You see, I have this friend who has loved me for years but whom I only pay attention to when the circumstances are right. They’ve been there through my laughs, my frowns, my ups and downs. I think we all know who this person is:

Wine.

Valentines CardSure, it may not have been love at first swig, but over the years we’ve built up a very loving and reliable relationship. I don’t discriminate against it; I don’t judge based on color or the size of its… bottle. And in return, wine doesn’t discriminate against me. It’s taken me for better or worse (progressively worse as a night wares on) richer or for poorer (mostly poorer), in sickness and in health, and I know it will stay with me as long as we both shall live. And that’s why wine is my Valentine, but I’ll make sure to treat it properly every day of the year, not just when it suits me.

What I’m trying to say is that people need to take a page out of my metaphorical book (written by Hemingway? He was a drunk, right?) and rise above their defensive instinct to just hate the day or believe they’re above acknowledging it. A day can’t authenticate or validate a romantic relationship so it can’t shed shame on singledom, either. If you put aside the irrelvant history of how the day came about and the extensive and unnecessary commercialism associated with it, what is the actual harm of just having a day that acknowledges and reminds us of all the different kinds of love we have in our lives? That’s all it is (or should be), a day to simply recognize love in all it’s forms.

If you’re lucky enough to have someone, use Valentines day as a reminder to celebrate your relationship. Then do that everyday for the next 364 days. If you find yourself single, replace the self loathing and sadness you feel in in your heart with warm positive thoughts and appreciation for the love you do have. Start an affair with wine, open a bottle of red and embrace the day. It’s better than spending the day being cynical, mocking others and wasting an otherwise perfectly good Friday. Not to mention it makes for a fun way to pass the time until Mr. Gosling finishes with his plans and runs into the sunset with you.

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On being fully sick:

Whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you mildly suicidal.
That is the lesson I learnt this week after being sent to rendezvous with my deathbed by the all-debilitating flu. For the first time in a long time, the sick day I took was actually due to sickness. This may not sound like a big deal to you, but I assure you it’s very serious stuff.
Every time I get sick I take it as a personal insult from the Gods. Basically, me catching a cold is a little less devastating than Hiroshima, but certainly worse than 9/11.
In contrast – and I need to make this very clear – when someone else gets sick I honestly and truly don’t care.
I’m not alone in thinking this way. My mum also thinks that me getting sick is the worst thing that could possibly ever happen to humanity-at-large.

Falling ill was fun when you were little. You got to stay home from school, eat mashed bananas and watch how Blue found his clues. But now falling ill involves melodramatic groaning, grave thoughts about morality, and summoning the last of your energy to write an ill thought out will and testament (in my fever haze I left all my prized possessions to my puppy).

heads-sick-get-well-ecard-someecardsEssentially, I have learnt a lot about myself in the past week; namely that at the ripe old age of 22 I have become an illogical-attention-craving-hypchondriac-crybaby and that my conspiracy theory against flu shots should obtain ‘law’ status.
I cradled my mothers lap, forced to her make me chicken soup, continuously emitted faint groans, nearly overdosed on paracetamol and sobbed whilst telling anyone that would listen how I’m too young to die.
Then the thermometer beeped and I realised just how high my fever was.

That’s when I really proceeded to put on a show – kind of like a crucifixion, but with songs.

If I was going to whinge or groan, I wanted everyone in the room to be able to hear it. I utilised 18 adjectives to describe my excess phlegm and carried on until I was brought soup and treated like a fragile diamond. The more people that knew my suffering, the better I thought my chances of survival were. Evidently, when I’m sick, I like to drag people down to my level. A sentiment that is clearly shared by the succubus who gave me the flu in the first place.

But alas, 5 days later and I’m all better now. It is with that knowledge that I’m quietly reassuring myself and quite loudly telling everyone else how sick I was. Thomas Fuller famously said that ‘health is not valued until sickness comes’ and I feel like he was onto something.
In the end, I think the Gods chose me to bear the burden of the flu and tell everyone about my experiences for the same reason they created paracetamol: because they’re in cahoots with the big pharmaceutical companies.

second-opinion-get-well-ecard-someecards

An open letter to my puppy:

Dearest Tesla,

Tesla3I realize that being a 7-month old Golden Retriever, the chances that you will both read and properly comprehend this letter are slim; but at this point I’ve run out of ideas for communicating with you and am pretty much willing to try anything.
So please consider this an intervention and a place where we can talk openly and share our feelings without screaming or throwing poop like usual.

Basically Tesla, what I’m trying to say is that your recent behaviour has been less than acceptable.
Not that your track record is anything to brag about.

I know it’s not completely your fault, and I have to share some of the blame. I acknowledge that naming you Tesla was a mistake. It placed unrealistic expectations on you. Ones you couldn’t possibly live up to. You have to know though, I never expected you to speak 8 languages or invent a new type of electricity. I just expected that it would take you less than 4 tries to pass the 1st grade of puppy school.

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Tesla dear, no matter how much you chase it, your tail will still always be there.

I know you tried though, so there’s no hard feelings about puppy school. Sitting on command can be hard, especially when you get distracted by your own tail every 8 seconds. We can’t all be academically smart, I respect that. You’re more about street smarts.
Rather than being ‘friendly’ or ‘obedient’, your teacher described you as being ‘unique’ and ‘having a quirky temperament’. There’s nothing wrong with that. Individuality is something to be proud of.

What’s more Tesla, it’s obvious you’re a social butterfly and a natural born leader. You used puppy school as a place to socialise and master your escaping skills.
You quickly realised that you were the common denominator, the puppy everyone else compared their puppies to. I think when you realised this, you really upped your game. You no longer just ignored a command, you learnt to do the exact opposite. ‘Sit’ meant ‘run away’. ‘Shake’ meant ‘eat your own poop’. The other ‘parents’ were so proud of their puppies when they saw you. I admit this was a little disheartening and embarrassing for me, but I knew you were just doing the other puppies a favour.

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Also, how is this a comfortable sleeping position?

Still, I think we should talk about another one of your ‘quirks’ that became apparent in puppy school; your distaste for sharing. I’m an only-child too, so I understand how hard the concept of ‘sharing’ can be, but sometimes it’s a necessary evil.
Tesla, why is it that every time we give you a new toy to play with, you run off, dig a hole the size of a small European country and then bury the toy? I know I initially found this behaviour endearing (and it did wonders to accelerate your digging skills) but now it’s becoming a little annoying. The yard looks like a large family of wild badgers inhabit it and every time we want to play a game with you, like fetch, we have to buy a new ball.

Speaking of fetch, what part of that game don’t you understand exactly? The idea is that I repeatedly throw the ball and you repeatedly run off and and bring it back to me. I know you understand the principle concept as the first time I throw the ball you manage to bring it back. So why is it that the second time I throw it you just sit there with a look that says “You threw it, you go get it?”

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You used to be so little and innocent…what happened?

These are all little things though, and I can live with you never learning to fetch and even with your desire to spend your days digging to China in the yard. What I can’t live with is some of the bigger ‘incidents’ you caused.

Need I remind you of the morning poop incident? That time when you did a poop on your puppy pad, then proceeded to roll you body in said poop, and then made it your mission to touch every surface in the house with your poop covered body? Do you really think I had nothing better to do than clean the entire house and bathe you that morning? And did you really think I didn’t have better things to do the second time you did the same thing!?

Now, I think we should also talk about the wooden stairs you systematically ripped up and ate (how is still beyond me!) And the countless pillows, blankets, flowers and brooms that have all gone to heaven due to your teething (all whilst your numerous teething toys remain buried in the yard). That being said, I still think the 8 piece dining set that you single-handedly turned into splinters is to date, your biggest achievement.

But despite all your exploits Tesla, you and your cute puppy dog eyes have a power over me. You suffocate the life out of me, yet I still love you.

Tesla Thus Tesla, I’m sorry I yelled at you when you ate my socks. I didn’t mean the things I said, it’s just that they were my last pair of uneaten socks.
It’s unfair that you’ve learned how to open a draw but not to sit on command.

I’m sorry I threatened to take you back to the store when you woke me up at 3am for the seventh consecutive night because you’re scared of a possum. It’s not like I would ever actually go through with it –  you were very expensive and I can’t get a refund.

IMG_0415

Just your typical play session with a watering can.

I’m sorry for actually enquiring if I could get a refund.

I’m sorry for punishing you when you stole and ate the steak I had defrosting on the kitchen counter. It’s just that that was my dinner, not yours.

I’m even more sorry for yelling at you when you vomited that steak up. But I still would have been less upset if you chose to vomit it outside rather than on the carpet.

I’m sorry I put you on a stringent diet when the lady in the park called you fat. It’s not your fault you’re big boned.

And I’m really sorry I googled “puppy + sedative”. Twice.
You’ve got to understand that you’ve grown so much that you can’t jump around and go crazy like you could when you were little. Now when you jump on me, it literally knocks me over and it hurts.

Tesla2

Tesla, I know you’re currently hellbent on destroying as much property as you can, but I really hope you outgrow this stage soon. Or at least stay as cute as you are so I forgive all the death and destruction you cause.

Sincerely,

The hand that feeds you.

Post-Grad Boogie

Sometimes, I like to pretend I’m a character on Suits. A kick-ass forensic accountant wearing a suave outfit and shooting fast and witty comebacks to all the lawyers around me. Naturally, in this fantasy Donna is my best friend, I get paid a lot to do very little and a miracle occurs where I manage to wear high-heels all day without dying.

Donna's first words when she meets me.

Donna’s first words when she meets me.

A quick look around my surroundings is all it takes to violently spring me from this fantasy and back into reality. Every surface in my room is covered with textbooks, readings, cue-cards, post it notes and hand made calendars with wild scribblings of all the dates my assignments are due.
Post-grad life isn’t nearly as glamorous as my Suits fantasy. To be honest, the only occupation post-grad life is more glamorous than is being a dole bludger; but they earn more money so even that’s disputable.

So with my mind firmly in reality and assignments looming, I’d like to procrastinate list (yes, I don’t actually have time to write a full column, so a list will have to suffice) the fun things I have learned and experienced about post-grad studies.

I like to call it the post-grad boogie. It’s kind of like the greenback boogie only with less money and fame and higher rates of unemployment and daytime drinking.

post grad someecard1. Despite what you learned as an undergrad, Thursday night is a weeknight. You’re expected to be productive Thursday night and wake up before 9am Friday morning.
Crazy, right?

2. You’re expected to refrain from drinking Sunday through to Friday afternoon – including day-drinking. Seriously.

3. Post-Grad is triple the work of undergrad and only half the fun.

4. I’m lying; it’s none of the fun.

5. Your monthly calendar looks less like the responsibilities of one person and more like the responsibilities of a small country.

6. You become obsessed with efficiency. To the point that you break down and publicly abuse people if their way of doing things takes even a minute longer than your way would.

7. Your main life survival skill is multi-tasking.

8. You have no idea where anything is on your campus except for the 2 buildings you have classes in.

9. During the start of semester you drink coffee. Obscenely large cups of dark coffee.
You shout “Thank God for caffeine!” at complete strangers whilst nervously attempting to conceal your involuntary facial twitches.
Towards the middle of semester you realise that drinking coffee is an inefficient process as it requires time to order, make and drink. Thus you develop a mildly concerning addiction to caffeine tablets.

10. Social events on campus? Say, what now?GPA

11. You seriously worry your relationship with the library is becoming too intimate so you swap libraries. You then worry about how your initial library feels about you cheating on it.

12. Lists begin to turn you on. Everything that can be written should be done so in an efficient list format. You then put your lists up on every wall to ensure all you ever see, think and dream is lists.

13. You have vivid hallucinations of attaching the 10 weighty textbooks assigned to you per semester to your torso and then jumping out a high window.

14. You have absolutely no school spirit. You’re pretty sure your university colours are a light colour and a dark colour but can’t remember which ones.

15. Your to-do list is organised by chapters.

16. If you’re not in a serious relationship, you’ve started to feel really really self conscious about the extremely high percentage of classmates that are in a serious relationship.

17. You’ve gotten to know your professors a little too well, including a lot of unnecessary details about their personal lives. You’ve become a little concerned by this fact.

18. You live in hope of keeping your memories of university longer than your student debt.Studying

19. You’re pretty sure that ‘graduate student’ is an oxymoron but you’re too tired to care.

20. You’re excessively worried about your thesis and exams, but you shouldn’t be. Given the rate you’re going at, you’ll be dead long before then.

Taylor Swift’s 22: A critical analysis

I currently have a obscene economics assignment where I have to ‘critically evaluate’ various papers that discuss the economic impact the current situation in Syria will have on both the Middle East at the World.

It’s thrilling stuff.

However, actually researching the assignment seems like a productive use of my time so instead, I’m going to critically evaluate ‘22‘. A song by Taylor Swift that I feel is rife with inaccuracies that simply must be rectified.

So from someone who is 22 and actually has the ability to hold a boyfriend for more than a week before writing a song about him; here are the more accurate lyrics:

It feels like a perfect night to dress up like hipsters watch girls in our pyjamas
And make fun of our exes, Tony Abbott
Uh uh uh uh
It feels like a perfect night for breakfast at midnight assignment writing
To fall in love with strangers To cancel on our friends, eat ice-cream and google Ryan Gosling
Uh uh uh uh
Yeaaaah

We’re happy free confused and lonely overworked, poor, exhausted and confused at the same time
It’s miserable and magical miserable
Oh yeah
Tonight’s the night when we forget about the deadlines, our looming Hecs debts
It’s time to call our parents
uh uh

I don’t know about you real adults
But im feeling 22
Everything will be alright if you keep me next to you give me an assignment extension and a loan
You don’t know about me
But I bet you still want to keep reading my mildly incoherent blog
Everything will be alright if we just
Keep dancing complaining like we’re 22, 22

It seems like one of those nights a uni night
This place is too crowded expensive
Too many cool kids hipster students
It seems like one of those nights
We ditch the whole scene and end up dreaming instead of passing out from far too much wine

Yeaaaah
We’re happy free confused and lonely poor, unemployed, exhausted and confused in the best worst way
It’s miserable and magical sad
Oh yeah
Tonight’s the night when we forget about the heartbreaks, the ever growing graduate unemployment rate
It’s time to accept we’re going to live with our parents until we 30
Uh uh

I don’t know about you and your tendencies to want to be a real adult
But I’m feeling 22
Everything will be alright if you keep me next to you I stop comparing myself to you
You don’t know about me
but I bet you want to You saw me at the pub worrying about the state of our country
Everything will be alright
If we just keep dancing complaining like we’re 22, 22

I don’t know about you how I’m ever going to finish my economics paper, 22, 22

It feels like one of those nights
We ditch the whole scene our theory that we’re actually sane
It feels like one of those nights
We‘ll won’t be sleeping with our insecurities
It feels like one of those nights
You look like bad news someone I wouldn’t find attractive without a lot of wine
I gotta have you, I gotta have you

I literally don’t know about you have any revenue
But I’m feeling 22
Everything will be alright if you keep me next to you world leaders start being better people
You don’t know about me
but I bet you want to You hear me constantly rant about socialism, feminism and kindness
Everything will be alright if we just keep dancing complaining like we’re 22, 22

Dancing Worrying like 22, yeah, 22, yeah yeah

It feels like one of those nights every other night
We ditch the whole scene and start appreciating our lives more
It feels like another one of those nights
We won’t be sleeping because of assignments 
It feels like another one of those nights
You look like bad news procrastination
I gotta have you, I gotta have you

Here, allow me to explain the world to you:

Disclaimer: This post will not explain the whole world to you. It will attempt to explain different types of twenty-somethings living today. But given we’re so incredibly self-involved and self-obsessed, the whole world really centres around us anyway.

Snow white - fair trade organic

Being young is exhausting work.

Everyone knows that teenagers and twenty-somthings are a different species. Media outlets today are rife with articles analysing and complaining about Gen Y and then subsequently trying to categorise and fix us. Clearly, we’re a complicated case that needs to be studied to ever be successfully eradicated understood.

So in the interest of science, I will thus seek to provide an insight into the mind and culture of a twenty-something. This will hopefully fulfil the twin functions of expanding the horizon of human knowledge and clarifying the questions my mind has about a culture I belong to, know absolutely nothing about yet claim to be an expert in.

Indie tom and jerry

An image that makes sense to Gen Y.

So let’s start by confirming that everyone is indie.
I see the confused look on your face so I’m going to stop right there and clarify:
According to urban dictionary Indie is:
1. (n) An obscure form of rock which you only learn about from someone slightly more hip than yourself.
2. (adj) Indie is cooler than emo.

This begs the question, what is an emo?
1. (n) An entire subculture of people (usually angsty teens) with a fake personality.
2. (adj) Like a goth, only much less dark and much more Harry Potter.

Now just to clarify, not everyone who falls under ’emo’ is actually an emo.  There are wemos, which are wannabe emos, and memos, which are mistaken emos. The latter is someone who is not an emo but is confused for one. I can’t personally explain how this happens but apparently it does.

Moving on, there are also lads:
1. (n) A lad is a male who specialises in creating and distributing exquisite banter.
2. (n) Males who like polo shirts and have a penchant for exposing genitalia and being a douchebag.

Now just for the record, ‘chavs’ are young lads.

And to complement the chavs, there are teeny-boppers:
1. (n) Stupid girls of ages 10-14 who squeal and giggle so much that Satan is willing to drag them back to hell.
2. (n) Females who wear small denim shorts no matter the season, are obsessed with pop-punk bands, are desperate to grow up and are unable to structure a sentence without using the word ‘like’ 5 times.
3. (n) The ethnic group Hitler would focus on instead if he were alive today.

An accurate description of how I feel when I'm around teeny-boppers.

An accurate description of how I feel when I’m around teeny-boppers.

There are also modern day hippies:
1. (n) An overgrown child who may occasionally abuse drugs and alcohol to cope with their impossible ideals in the modern world.
2. (adj) An urban hillbilly.

And who could forget the gym-junkies:
1. (adj) People with a Hulk like physique and intelligence level.
2. (n) Members of a society driven by the slogan “get shredded or die trying”.
3. (n) People who use the terms ‘looking ripped’, ‘nice rig’ and ‘do you even lift’ at least once in every sentence.

Now I can’t possibly write an academically sound piece about sub-cultures without mentioning the following:
There are wiggers (white guys who think they are black), chiggers (Chinese guys who think they are black) and hasians (hot asians).
There are skinny guys, who suffer from manorexia, and browned up girls who suffer from hipstertanorexia.
There are stoners who smoke the sacred herb and look like Jesus and there are coke-heads who are people fortunate enough to have enough money to support a devils-dandruff addiction.
Devils dandruff is cocaine, and how this comes up in conversation is beyond me.

There are geeks, whose IQ’s exceed their weights but they’re not to be confused with nerds who are people you’ll end up working for when you grow up.
There are also punks who are rebellious hooligans with funny hair and gangstas’ who have street cred and are unable to find sweat shirts that aren’t 5 sizes too big for them. They’re also not to be confused with thugs although I struggle to understand why.

Now this educational and mildly nauseating journey through sub-cultures leads us to the Hipster: the ultimate sub-culture enigma.
StupidHipster21. Definitions are too mainstream.
2. (n) Someone who listens to bands you’ve never heard of, wears ironic tee-shirts and has a hair style that can only be described as ‘complicated’.
3. (n) An individual who hates corporations and everything mainstream, yet still buys Apple products.
4. (n) A mainstream label referring to someone who rejects mainstream labels.
5. Everyone in my masters program.*

My head hurts too much to even begin making an assessment on what it means to be a hipster. Basically, if you walk round my University, everyone you see will qualify under this label. And no one will actually know what it means.

So there you have it. My contribution to society for the week. I am more confused than when I started.  Labels are gloriously vague, unnecessary and potentially damaging. For todays’ twenty-somthing’s, life is confusing enough and everyone is just trying to find a way to fit in.

The roads that we take are merely kaleidoscopic images that shift with every turn of the head. Everyones either lost in the rat race or lost somewhere outside it. I think it goes without saying that it’s easy to make fun of lifestyles and subcultures, but truly understanding them is a different matter. And maybe the reason society can’t understand twenty-something’s is because we can’t (or don’t want to) understand ourselves either.

hipster red riding hood

*Admittedly, this may not be a very descriptive definition – but it’s true nonetheless.

The Vatican should just save some time and name me pope already!

I don’t meant to get too ahead of myself here but Pope Benedict XVI has resigned before God could ‘fire him’, the world needs a new pope and I have some spare time on my hands. Really, it’s a match made in heaven.

Well, if the hat fits...

Well, if the hat fits…

Now I know what you’re thinking, and I agree; I don’t think ‘pope’ is the right word for a female leader of the Catholic Church. You see, since the first pope in 33AD there have been 365 popes’ (thank-you wikipedia) and not a single one of them could find the time to derive a grammatically correct female version of ‘pope’. Popette? Popess? We don’t know because for 2000 years sexism and misogyny have ruled the Catholic Church and women weren’t allowed to resume the top job (or frankly any of the top jobs). This is one of the many reasons why I feel I would be an excellent candidate for the job. How better to show the world you’re progressive than to allow a female to take the reins of your organisation!?

Now to those that know me well, the decision to become pope may seem like it’s a little rash and out of the blue.

That’s because it is.

But rest assured, I feel like I have given it at least some thought and have concluded that taking on the papacy is something I could do for the rest of my life (because unlike some, I’m not a quitter). Not to mention I feel the uniform that comes with the top job would accentuate my features and having what I can only presume is a magical sceptre (much like Gandalf’s staff) is something I have desperately coveted ever since I can remember.

Now, not only am I clearly incredibly passionate about taking on the papacy, I’ll have you know I am also wildly qualified. Admittedly, I’m not a Catholic and was never baptised, but my mum was so given that’s good enough for the Jews it’s good enough for me. Additionally, whilst I haven’t been to a church in a while I have been a religious patron to many a bar on Church Street where I spend my Sundays drinking more wine (a.k.a the blood of Christ) than you can imagine. Again, it’s good enough.

So with that, it’s pretty clear my qualifications can only really be called into question by logical people, and they’re a natural enemy to the church anyway so really, it’s no big deal.

Moreover, not only will I bring dedication and qualifications to the job, but I will also bring my extensive knowledge on how best to run a successful political campaign. Basically, the main ingredient is you have to be an advocate for change. Which is quite fortunate as there are so many things about the Catholic Church I’d like to change!
I would start by selling off the Catholic Church’s many assets (with the exception of my sceptre of course – I really need that) and maybe use the money to feed the hungry and help the needy (something we really don’t see enough of). Next I would publicly change the Church’s view on all forms of birth control and gay marriage to be more in line with today’s progressive views and thus enable the Catholic faith to help more people accept themselves rather than be oppressed by archaic thinking.

But I’m not done yet. I would also ensure, that under my reign Catholic teachings such as  ‘do unto others’ apply to everyone irrespective of their religion, race or sexual orientation. Everyone would be treated like they were God’s children, which is to say like equal human beings. How’s that for change?

Ow, and the child molesting thing would definitely need to stop. Pretty much, I’d just ensure that pedophilia stops being a more forgivable sin than birth control.

So, are you with me?
You can always pray for me to get into the Vatican; but preferably you could also do something more productive and take to facebook and twitter so everyone knows I should be the next popette, popess, lady-pope!

So, what do you want to be when you grow up?

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”                                              – Dr. Seuss: Oh The Places You’ll Go!

When I was five, I was certain I wanted to become a ballerina. At seven, I wanted to be a doctor. At ten, I thought becoming a professional singer and joining the Spice Girls was for me. At thirteen I wanted to become a forensic pathologist. At fifteen, a lawyer.
At every stage of my childhood, when someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I had an answer. And more often than not, it was a different answer to the one I gave the week before. But funnily enough, when I actually ‘grew up’ I started running out of answers.

Through school I’d always been hardworking and studious so with my good grades came a self belief that I could do anything I put my mind to. The only problem was that I didn’t know what that ‘anything’ was. When I graduated high school I was offered a scholarship to a top University and took it with open arms assuming that when I finished my undergraduate degree I’d be a grown up and thus know what I wanted to be.
I’ve finished my undergraduate degree, but I’m still no ‘grown up’.

The past few years have seen me go through many phases of self discovery. I’ve met incredibly diverse people and travelled to exotic and contrasting parts of the world. I have found myself a thousand times only to realise a week later that the person I found was just one facet on myself rather than a whole. I’ve been surprised by my abilities, disappointed at my failures and encouraged by my resilience. I’ve experienced highs climbing mountains – both physically and metaphorically, near death experiences at the hands of hippos and extreme lows which have left me drunkenly analysing my life at 11am on weekday more times than I wish to admit.

But after all that I still don’t think I am any closer to figuring out what I want to be when I grow up. To be honest, the only thing I have figured out so far is that I don’t think I want to grow up.

No doubt, most twenty-somethings reading this would know the exact feeling I’m trying to describe. None of us can change the decisions that have brought us to where we are right now: the job we have, the city we live in and the path we’re on. But we do have control over the future. After all, we’re twenty-something, not eighty-something, which means that we have a lot more life still to live and quite a few more chances to get it right. There is no such thing as ‘too little too late’ in regards to learning a lesson or creating a life that makes you happy.

I think the biggest obstacle people face is fear. We are afraid that there is something wrong with us because we aren’t happy with where we’ve ended up; despite the carefully calculated plan we followed to get there. We’re frightened of the uncertainty of the future and thought that no one else is feeling the need to walk out of their current life and start over. We’re increasingly scared with each passing thought of a new beginning, that our decisions will be frowned upon and those we love the most may not be proud of us when the dust settles. And not to mention, we all become a little more fearful and crazy when our constant need to compare ourselves to others only serves to illuminate our own faults and shortcomings.

quote4

It’s all pretty scary. But I don’t have the ability to erase the fear or a step-by step guide to a solution. But maybe that’s a good thing as calculated paths are what got some of us to this point in the first place. We followed specific plans until we landed in a place so far removed from what makes up happy that we forgot where our passion lives; so far down the wrong path that we can’t even figure out what we want to be when we ‘grow up.’

At the end of the day, I think if we’re all superbly honest with one another (and ourselves) we’d soon find out that none of us are certain about much. We’re not alone and we’re all just trying to figure it out without screwing too much up in the process. We need to set happiness as our only goal and learn that the key to life is making yourself proud. I’m not sure if or how it’ll all work out, but I have faith that what’s meant to be, will be.

The reason for my reflective-state-of-mind, if you will, is that I’ve recently been accepted into a Masters program. After working so hard to get into the program, I’m now left second-guessing whether I truly want to be in it. I suppose part of it is fear of change and fear of the unknown.
It’s safe to say though, that I’m not sure if I’ll ever figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I still just hope that I will never have to grow up but rather have an entire lifetime to exhaust all resources and opportunities to figure out who I am and what makes me happy.

If the past few years have taught me anything it’s that we never stop changing. Life is about mastering the ability to continually keep going after what you really want; having the courage to always start over when you aren’t happy and acquiring the knowledge that you’re not alone in the process.

John Lennon credited his mother for telling him that happiness was the key to life. At school when a teacher asked Lennon to write down what he wanted to be when he grew up, he wrote down ‘happy.’ Lennon said “They told me I didn’t understand the assignment and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

I just hope I can continue to grow old and learn; all the while never growing up or out of happiness.

What it’s like to be a twenty-something as told by Mean Girls, Bridesmaids and Girls.

Golly gosh, I love the inter-webs.
I found this little gem on them and just had to share it.
Kudos, BuzzFeed.


If you’re a twenty-something you probably feel like this:

1

College was all like:
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But now you’re all like: 
3

And…
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Most of the time you just want to yell at the universe.
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Because no one understands you. 
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With boys, it’s like:
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But with your girlfriends is more like: 
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And every time you say to a boy:
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He’s just like: 
10

At which point you’re like: 
11

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And in the end, you don’t even want a boyfriend because:
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So I guess what I’m saying is that being in your twenties is hard.
Most of the time is feels like this: 

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Because the problem is: 
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But at the end of the day, you’re only twenty-somthing so you should be doing this:
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To see the whole story, you can head to the BuzzFeed article here.

Chirp Chirp: Can someone please explain twitter to me?

To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, conformity is the last refuge of the unimaginative. But alas, I have become unimaginative and succumbed to social pressure. I just joined the 21st century and got myself a twitter account. #exciting!

Yes, I know I am possibly the last 20-something-social-media-entusiast in the world to get one.
Yes, I know I don’t need yet another social media outlet to procrastinate through.
No, it’s not going to stop me using twitter to procrastinate.
Yes, I know that I am very late to the party.
No, I have no idea what I am doing or how to use twitter.
Yes, the main reason I got twitter was in anticipation of 2013 #Qanda starting
And yes, the twitter narcism has already hit me.

To be honest, I feel like twitter is just going to cause me anxiety. Simply setting the account up took me an hour. Firstly, I couldn’t decide on a twitter name (my name is mildly impossible to spell and even harder to pronounce). Secondly, after initially picking 10 people I wanted to follow, I looked back on my choices of politicians, activists and news broadcasters and realised I am boring and people will judge me. Thus I reworked my list and added a comedian to it to make me look more interesting. Can you smell the narcism and need to be liked?

Anxiety

Lastly, twitter is going to give me anxiety because I don’t know how to use it. I have enough trouble expressing myself through a blog where I can ramble on for hours to make my point. How am I going to make witty remarks about my pet peeves and Ryan Gosling the world in less than 140 characters? #itsimpossible #Iliketoramble

I know that I live in a world where todays 20-somethings live by the philosophies of ‘didn’t twitter it, didn’t happen’ and ‘history is made through facebook photos’ but I just don’t think my life is that interesting to warrant people reading 140 character long updates on it.

I’m fairly sure you don’t want to know that I just had a gluten-free strawberry gelato, that I have a hangover from too much wine and that I’m pretty sure gluten-free strawberry gelato doesn’t actually do anything to cure a hangover. I’m also pretty sure you don’t want to know my opinions on various TV as they’re happening or how my weekly laundry is going. But I know I need to stay with the times and update the world about my mundane activities on at least 4 different social media platforms. Hey, I don’t make the rules…I just follow them.

Assuming I actually learn how to use twitter it could be fun and entertaining. But I will make a vow to never tweet about salads or sunshine. I’m better than that.
Besides, salads and sunshine deserve whole blog posts and not just 140 character jokes.

And to get into the spirit of it:
#pleasefollowme    #letsbetwitterfriends 
#areyouallowedpunctuationinhashtags?        
#hashtag

You can find my twitter page @tgvozdic9