Category Archives: A horse of a different colour

Caring what people think

I want to talk about what people think of me.

Let’s be honest we all like to think that we don’t care about what others think of us, some of us even believe it when we say it, but we all have someone whose opinion matters to us.

For many years I suffered greatly by obsessing over what people thought of me. I always tried to be the good person who was not controversial and was a good friend no matter what that person did I stood by them (to a point obviously, I mean I completely dropped a friend who slept with my boyfriend – years later I found out this never happened though, she was just jealous of our relationship). Now I am older and (hopefully) wiser I realise that being this way meant that I was in some toxic relationships, with men for sure and even with friends. I was friends with someone for over a decade and the first time I did something she didn’t like (which by the way was spending too much time with my new boyfriend and asking her if she was sure about the guy she was about to marry after I caught her crying every night for a week) she completely removed herself from my life overnight and kicked me out of her house (she had asked me to move in to help her pay the mortgage) and lied to all of our friends saying that I had walked out and left her with no money. WTF? I learned a lot from that experience and I am pleased to say that I have not had a toxic friendship since.

After the incident above I did a lot of soul searching because I didn’t really understand what had happened and then it occurred to me that no matter how much she upset me and hurt me and did things that were horrible I never spoke up about it. I kept my hurt feelings to myself and felt that I must have deserved it. When I fell into serious depression following the sudden death of my grandfather and leaving an emotionally abusive relationship she withdrew from me and would stop inviting me out places. When I organised a NYE party she organised something else and convinced everyone to go (I even found out much later she told some of them that I had cancelled the party and was going to be there), but I told myself that she was right and I wasn’t good company and it wasn’t her job to babysit me while I felt sorry for myself. Dammit that is the DEFINITION of a best friend; they should be there for the smiles and the shit! I was reasonably good friends with her boyfriend and after they broke up he and I became very close friends (and still are to this day actually). Even though he lived far away he would visit me most weekends and spend time with me, we went out a lot and he helped me get out from under my depression cloud. He is a very good person and one of my best friends.

Through this friendship (which was never anything more than that even though she wanted to pretend it was, I have a lot of love for him, but there were never “romantic” feelings attached) I learnt a lot about myself. I learnt that I was a pleaser; I would do my upmost to ensure someone was happy even to the detriment of myself. This had a great impact on my depression because obviously if I was spending all my time pleasing others there was very little time left to make me happy. His friendship has taught me that the perfect friend isn’t one who pleases you all the time, it is one who is brutally honest with you, it is someone who will be there through the shit and the smiles and it is someone who is proud to be your friend.

I am a very different person to who I was back then, generally speaking I am a happy, positive person. I am still a bit of a people pleaser (mostly at work, but I think that is expected haha), but I do a lot more for my own joy now than I used to. The old me pushed herself and became bulimic trying to fit in and fight my way to the top and get more pay, the new me realised that whilst I adore music and writing, I am not the kind of person that would survive well in that kind of industry. I also realised that I am passionate about literacy, research and books and I decided that I wanted to spend my life doing those things and am now a Librarian.

I have spent a lot of time over the past few years telling myself that others opinions do not matter and for the most part they don’t. This does not mean I do not have a moral compass, it just means that if I want to do something like jump on the back of my Hubby’s Harley, I do it because I want to and enjoy myself and do my best not to worry that someone might think there should be a wide load sticker across my ass. I have also found the true audience whose opinions matter and I would do pretty much anything to keep looking fabulous in their eyes… my nieces and nephews.

Ella3

If someone in the street calls me a fat ass I might get very down and possibly resolve not to eat anything but carrots for a week, then I get home to find my nieces are visiting. They run full pelt at me screaming my name knowing I will catch them and hug them and kiss them. Then they invite me to a tea party with cupcakes they made with Nan that day (and invisible tea) and I forget about the ignoramus on the street and I forget about the carrot promise because none of that matters. All that matters is eating a cupcake with two beautiful little girls who are looking at me like I am a living Goddess or an Amazonian heroine and certainly the best thing since sliced bread. So I take my cake and eat it too 🙂

Mmm cupcakes!

Mmm cupcakes!


Robin Williams – the Master of Smiles

I am speechless, stunned and deeply saddened.

Today, Earth is a little less bright.

 

I have adored the mastery that is Robin Williams body of work since I was a small child. He was a precious light of acting and comedic brilliance in a world that is often shadowed in trouble. I am not ashamed to say I have suffered from depression and being able to watch Robin’s work often brought a smile to my face.

He was a great gift to this world, much like the real Patch Adams, Robin’s gift to the world was laughter and joy. In my mind his amazing talent has no equal, he was the master. To paraphrase Shakespeare – Robin William’s was the stage [the lights, the whole theatre really] and all of us merely players.

Image source: http://www.fanpop.com

 

He may have left us too soon, but his legend will live on.

What was your favourite piece of Robin’s work?


Locals cheer attacks on Gaza strip

This is not the kind of post I would normally do, but then I have come to realise that there is not a lot about me that is normal so perhaps this post is exactly like me. 

Today I desperately felt the need to restore my faith in humanity as this morning it hit an all time low. Last night I turned off the news when I saw the report on the bombings, not only did I hate to see humans once again destroying each other, but I didn’t want my young nephews to see it – I do everything I can to protect my nephews and nieces from experiencing violence in the vain hope that it makes some difference so they will do better in their generation than any of the ones before them. Then today I read this article that reports locals setting up a “cinema” of sorts on a nearby hill and eating popcorn and cheering when the bombs landed, even taking pictures of each other grinning giving a thumbs up as bombs went off in the distance.

Please note that I am not trying to make any statement about the bombings themselves or the situation in this part of the world, that is not at all my aim in this post.

My aim is to express my complete and absolute disgust that anyone would sit there, eat popcorn and get their jollies by watching people be murdered, what the f#@k is wrong with you people? I’m sure there is a word or condition to describe you accurately, but I can’t currently think of anything better than “sick” and I don’t truly believe they are worth more than a four letter word so I am not going to bother spending time trying to think of anything better. 

So today I have spent some of my lunch time at work trying to re-inflate my faith in humanity, I have done this in a couple of different ways; by re-reading the post I did the other day on Sir Nicholas Winton who is a complete hero. Special thank you to the publishing company for sending me this kind message after reading the piece I wrote: 

Seriously it seems that everyone who has anything to do with this man is completely lovely! Could being a truly good person be contagious I wonder?

Seriously it seems that everyone who has anything to do with this man is completely lovely! Could being a truly good person be contagious I wonder?

Then I spent some time on good ole YouTube looking for further proof that there are still good humans out there. 

This helped:

A picture is worth a thousand words

This helped A LOT!

And this was a nice little cherry on top 🙂

Dobri%20Dobrev%u2019s%20story%20is%20amazing

 


Sir Nicholas Winton – the true Saint Nick!

Part of the reason I started this blog was to share; share things I knew, things I tried, things I have learned and things I think and feel. Nice and broad isn’t it, pretty much gives me a license to write whatever… oooh the glee.

When I was in High School we learnt about the Holocaust… a LOT, please don’t get me wrong I think that the Holocaust was one of the most disgusting and depraved things humans have ever done to other humans and I do believe it is important that youth are taught about it. If they do not learn of our horrific failures in our past, how can they learn from our mistakes to hopefully prevent this ever happening again? What I didn’t value about the curriculum was the fact that we learnt about it for over a semester for 3 years running and for the most part we were shown horrific videos and images that are scarred into me until this day. I am not ashamed to say that I cried during some of these videos, they were that awful. I think it is important that we were shown these images so that we have no doubt of the terror of that time, but we didn’t need to see it multiple times. I would have liked to learn a lot more about some of the people that did whatever they could to help in a time where so many people needed it.

One of these people is Sir Nicholas Winton, if you have never heard of him it is time you did. Nicholas was 29 when he organised the rescue of 669 Czech children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia during the 9 months before war broke out in 1939. Those children have grown up and had children of their own and now have grandchildren and great grandchildren, approximately 6000 people in the world today owe their lives to this man, giving the gift of so many lives perhaps he is the real Saint Nick.

 

Nicholas was living in Britain at the time and when a friend told him of the problems there he travelled to Prague for a two week holiday. He set up a small office there to meet with people that wanted to get their children to safety. Nicholas wrote for help to many countries, but only Great Britain responded offering assistance, even with their promise of aid the action was painstakingly slow and Winton and his colleagues were running out of time. To save the children they forged documents such as visas, this increased the risk they were taking, but at that point they felt there was no other choice.

8 trains full of children successfully made it to Great Britain where families were waiting to care for them. A ninth train with 250 children on it did not make it out of Prague, the children were on the train, but war was declared and transportation was suspended.

Winton is very humble and thus for many years not many people knew what this amazing man had accomplished against all odds. One day Winton’s wife found a scrapbook in their attic, it had the name of every child he had rescued, who their parents are and the families they had been placed with. 80 of these children were found to still be living in Britain, they were brought together in 1988 during an episode of the BBC program That’s Life. Winton had no idea that the audience was full of the people he had saved and describes it as one of the most emotional experiences of his life.

Sir Nicholas Winton has recently celebrated his 105th birthday! Congratulations Saint Nick, I hope you have many years of joy ahead of you.

His daughter Barbara Winton has written Nicholas’ story in a book called “If it’s Not Impossible… The life of Sir Nicholas Winton”, I personally cannot wait to get my hands on it and I urge you all to check it out too.

Biography


The Squirrel Effect

Remember how a few posts back I talked about my New Year’s Resolutions and one of them was about accepting home truths? Well here is another for the pile 🙂

It is what I call ‘The Squirrel Effect’. I am a pretty creative person, I love creating things, I love trying new things so am always starting new projects and buying ingredients to try new recipes. The problem I have come to realise is that sometimes I lose interest… or my interest shifts to something new… AKA SQUIRREL! [if you don’t get the reference go and watch Disney’s Up!]

up

I decided to write this post after reading “Good boss, Bad boss” on LauGraEva’s blog, I remember that I first discovered this about myself when I was my own boss working at home. I was younger and had the misconception that I would have so much more time because I was working from home; I was wowed by the fact that in the middle of winter I could wear my flannel PJs and UG Boots to the office 🙂 Needless to say I very quickly realised that watching Firefly whilst answering work emails was not a good plan when I replied to a client informing them that everything was “Shiny”.

shiny

The same thing happened when I was unemployed for two months last year, I thought I would have so much time and I would be able to keep up on everything in the house and get a bunch of projects done that I had been unable to start… pfft… didn’t happen. I did get some vegies planted and caught up on washing, I also cleared out the closest and sent a bunch of stuff off to charity, but there was so much I didn’t get close to touching which was seriously disappointing! I even used to make deals with myself like: ‘okay, we are putting a wash on now, you can watch one episode of Big Bang Theory and then you have to go and put it out’, but then invariably I would try and find things to do inside like the project I started creating Christmas decorations by up-cycling books… that was way fun… and messy and kind of took over my coffee table for a week before Hubby got the royal poos 🙂

At the moment I have 2 major projects that I need to get too, one is that I found a vintage bird cage by the side of the road and I have the idea of somehow turning it into a succulent planter for my mates for their combined 30th bday – they both like up-cycle/vintage so I think they will love it. Then Hubby had to go into hospital etc. and long story short their birthday has come and gone and I haven’t finished it 😦

it's because of the Squirrels...

it’s because of the Squirrels…

I also have a project I desperately have to start and finish before October for my Best-Friend’s wedding and…. I was about to tell you all about it, but then I have just realised that I think she reads my blog from time to time and so I cannot tell you about it, but it is pretty awesome. I have never done anything like it before and actually have no idea whether I am able to do it, in theory [AKA according to my hella awesome research] it will work, but in practice… who knows.

My point is that these two projects in particular I really need to get done and I can’t afford to

SQUIRREL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SQUIRREL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thank you Mr. T.

Queen Latifah:
And the winner of the 2014 Grammy for Best New Artist goes to… CatT.

The audience goes wild and my music fills the theatre as I throw my arms around my Hubby for a massive smooch and then make my way to the stage. Naturally I pause along the way to high five Adam Lambert and pound fists with Dan Reynolds. I make it to the stage and by some miracle do not stage a re-enactment of Jennifer Lawrence’s Oscar fall, I embrace and pay homage to the amazing Queen Latifah and accept my amazing award. I turn to the mic and clear my throat whilst trying to subtlety wipe away tears of joy.

Oh Jen, you fall so gracefully :)

Oh Jen, you fall so gracefully 🙂

Me:
Wow! Thank you. This moment… means more than I could ever convey in one acceptance speech.

I came here tonight fully prepared to bow down to any one of the amazing and talented nominees as they won this title; don’t worry I am not suggesting you need to bow to me. The thing is, no matter how hard we push and work and pour sweat, blood and tears into our work, at no point will you ever sit there and go… yeah, I got this in the bag… come at me Grammy. As one of the nominees for this award tonight I found myself in such esteemed company and I wish to thank each one of you for the amazing contributions you make to this industry.

I must also thank Universal Music Australia for taking a chance on an unknown artist from South-West Sydney, for believing in me, for hearing me and my music and helping me translate who I am for all the world to hear. Thank you for fine tuning me because God knows I needed it.  

To my fans, without you there is no way I could be here. Thank you for sharing this journey with me and for seeing something in my music that you love. I hope you continue to be touched by my music and I will do all that I can to keep this train going.

Mum & Dad… thank you for letting me play music too loud and for not yelling at me when I then sung over my too loud music with my even louder voice. Thank you for inspiring me creatively. Mum, thank you for always being my editor and grammar Nazi, you are my guiding light.

Mr. T. … Thank you for being who you are, thank you for being my soul mate and for keeping me laughing for the past seven years. Thank you for encouraging me to sing and not being afraid to tell me when I was flat, thank you for letting me listen to any genre I want and for letting me play Adam Lambert’s music in the car really loud… thank you for learning the words so you could sing along too 🙂 Thank you for missing me singing around the house when I go away, thank you for missing it so much you learned every Adele song so you could sing them to stop yourself being lonely without me. Thank you for loving me, thank you for being my best friend and always being there, thank you for your support. I know you are happy sitting down there right now… really happy, because we are married… and being married means half of this award is yours. Congratulations on your Grammy baby 🙂

Thank you all.

 Inspired by the Daily Prompt


Finding myself in the Red Centre

Recently I read a piece called “The top 10 tips I’ve learned from minimalists”  on the blog The ExtraOrdinary Simple Life by Lara Blair. This post discussed how to find the parts of a minimalist lifestyle that work for you and provided some great tips on putting them into practice.

After having a comments discussion with the author regarding single socks and their attack on the minimalist lifestyle and the zen of the human race in general (it made complete sense to us and I may blog about it at a later date) I discovered a comment written by All thoughts work outdoors, part of which really struck a chord with me. The paragraph that particularly caught my eye was as follows:

“I found that a simple, yet very powerful tool for decluttering is to reevaluate one’s social life. A lot of people hang onto stuff because they wanna be prepared for any social situation, be acceptable to anybody and everybody who will judge them. But when you get hard-core-honest about who you really want to spend your life on, you’ll find it’s the ones who don’t give a rat’s ass if you have festive holiday napkins or the right hemline”. – All thought work outdoors, 2014

I loved this comment! I absolutely remember being this way, wanting to be acceptable to all, be a pleaser, I somehow believed that being part of the pack and being accepted and acceptable was vital to being happy. What the hell was I thinking?! How much time and energy I wasted being this way is quite scary to think about. When I was 18 I even drank the same drinks as my friends because lolly water alcoholic drinks were so in, they tasted like Bertie Botts’s every flavour beans, but they were in so I had to like them.

My wakeup call came when I moved to Ayers Rock at the age of 19, for those who haven’t been let me tell you, it’s hot, it’s arid, there is red sand everywhere and pretty much everything about it is not conducive to wearing make-up and sexy dresses. Basically it is about trying to stay comfortable and always being prepared for a sand storm and visits from unexpected wildlife 🙂 It was fabulous and I loved it! I learned so much and I met amazing people from all corners of the Earth and all walks of life, it was a completely unique experience that I value so much. Though I didn’t realise it at the time I now believe having this experience at that age really played a part in shaping who I am today.

While I was living at the Rock at one point I had 3 jobs, I worked full time as an all-rounder for a tourism company (which pretty much means you need to be able to do anything), I was a guide on sunset champagne tours a couple of times a week and I ran Karaoke once a week. I didn’t feel overworked because we had so much play time as well, I explored all the amazing things the Red Centre had to offer, there were many times that I truly felt like I was being paid to be permanently on vacation.

When I moved back to Sydney at 21 I really didn’t understand the friends I had from High School anymore; I didn’t get wearing teeny tiny dresses to go out in 15 degree weather, I didn’t understand them wearing more make-up in one night than I saw in 2 years at the rock and I really didn’t understand these women I knew to be very intelligent giggling and flipping their hair in an effort to get male attention.

Did I feel out of place? Yup. Did I feel like the odd girl out because when I went out I mostly wore nice jeans, a pretty top and flats? Absolutely. Was I always on the outer edge of conversations with my old bosom buddy friends from school because I didn’t relate easily to them anymore? Hell yes! The above coupled with the fact that my grandfather passed away not long after I moved back had me in a pretty dark place; I would try to talk to my friends about how I felt about his passing and found that they just didn’t get it. None of them came to the funeral to support me and after a while I started getting comments like, “are you still sad?” (I don’t blame them for this really as I came to the realisation that none of them had dealt with the death of a loved one).

So I trudged along, I still went out with the group, due to the alcohol education I had received living at the Rock I no longer drank lolly water, or anything else the girls were drinking… it was mostly beer for me at that stage. After a few months I discovered something thanks to a male friend of mine, one night whilst the girls were tearing up the dance floor and we were chatting he divulged that the girls in the group were really intimidated by me. I was shocked and asked why; he gave me the following reason:

  • After school rather than go straight to Uni I had moved interstate, lived and survived on my own and thrived whilst holding down three jobs – all my friends were living the Uni life, some working casual in bars, the others living off the bank of Mum and Dad and they all lived at home.
  • When I go out I have the confidence to wear whatever I am comfortable in and am happy to strike up conversation with pretty much anyone (pretty sure this came from 2 years in a town of 1500 people where you knew everyone so you talked to everyone) – the girls were nervous about approaching new people, particularly guys.
  • I hold my alcohol really well and can keep up with most guys – thanks Ayers Rock alcohol education 🙂 Although I must say that this trait does run in the women of my family for some reason.
  • Because I wear sensible shoes I can pretty much stay out all night without complaining of sore feet – no running around the streets in bare feet for me. It also means I appear to have more stamina.
  • I am able to talk to guys easily, I can hold my own at the pool table and drink with them – What can I say they had a lot of pool tables at Ayers Rock and I like the game. Pretty rusty now though.

It was then I realised that the girls were having as much trouble relating to me as I was to them. By moving interstate and living/surviving on my own, working and paying bills I had matured significantly. In high school we were all having the same experiences and because my friends then went on to Uni even though they were at different Unis studying different subjects they were still having similar life experiences whereas my experiences were completely different. The fact that we were still making such efforts to relate to each other was quite admirable.

It seemed living there gave me the independence to grow into who I was removed from the variety of influences girls in the city have at that age. I am quite thankful for that now, it helped me discover who I was and I don’t spend as much time trying to impress people by behaving in any way that is unnatural to me. Take me as I am world 🙂