Category Archives: Feelings

missing Saturday mornings

Video Hits (Australian TV series)

Video Hits (Australian TV series) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I was younger, during the earlier years of high school, Saturday mornings had a sort of comforting ritual to them. I could sleep in to around 9-9:30am, then get up, make some breakfast of my choice (usually toast) and watch Video Hits. I would lose myself in the land of music until noon, making lists of new songs to add to my collection and reminiscing with old favourites.

Then I got to the age where employment becomes a necessity, and suddenly I was working weekends, a slave to endless line of consumers craving salty hangover fixes. And my Saturday morning routine kind of disappeared.

Even cutting down my work shifts didn’t help, since that was when I hit the serious end of school and all of a sudden everything became about when I would study.

Then, finally, school ended, Saturdays returned – but now Video Hits was taken off the air, and even Rage wasn’t playing for long in the mornings.

I just miss the comfort of those days, where I could forget all about my life for a while and lose myself in music, blankets and feelings of contentment. Even during the tougher times of my teenage life, it was a small safe haven once a week.

I long for that. I crave that safety and contentment; the feeling that for a few hours, everything might be alright.

Saturday mornings meant hope and the freedom of a whole weekend to do as I pleased.

I want to reclaim that. But you can’t go back, so I guess I’ll have to find a new way to experience it.


relating to Lenka

As sly as a fox, as strong as an ox
As fast as a hare, as brave as a bear
As free as a bird, as neat as a word
As quiet as a mouse, as big as a house

All I wanna be, all I wanna be, oh
All I wanna be is everything

As mean as a wolf, as sharp as a tooth
As deep as a bite, as dark as the night
As sweet as a song, as right as a wrong
As long as a road, as ugly as a toad

As pretty as a picture hanging from a fixture
Strong like a family, strong as I wanna be
Bright as day, as light as play
As hard as nails, as grand as a whale

All I wanna be oh, all I wanna be, oh
All I wanna be is everything
Everything at once
Everything at once, oh
Everything at once

As warm as the sun, as silly as fun
As cool as a tree, as scary as the sea
As hot as fire, cold as ice
Sweet as sugar and everything nice

As old as time, as straight as a line
As royal as a queen, as buzzed as a bee
As stealth as a tiger, smooth as a glider
Pure as a melody, pure as I wanna be

All I wanna be oh, all I wanna be, oh
All I wanna be is everything
Everything at once

These are the lyrics to Everything At Once by Lenka, and by golly does this describe how I feel right now. Last night I completed the dreams brainstorming in my happiness journal, and I noticed that I want so many things out of my life. And very few of them are linked to what I’m doing right now, but they’re also very risky and require some financial backing, which is why I am where I am. I want to open my own cafe, and I have already got some very specific thoughts on it. I know what I would call it, what the focus would be, and even have musings on the interior. One late night, I even designed the logo for it. But it’s the kind of place that would suit a location that I can’t really afford (not that I can afford any of them), and it would be very risky, since I don’t have any inkling how people would take to it. It would essentially be an oatmeal bar, though of course there would be other options. I’m thinking of calling it h(oat)e. There would be a few ‘chef’s recommendations’, such as apple pie oats, pb+banana+agave (I want the place to be vegan friendly, so no honey unless specifically requested), double chocolate, berrylicious, pumpkin pie. Then there would be the option to design your own, by picking and mixing toppings.

But see, I’m not sure that many people appreciate oats like I do. So in comes the risk, as well as the fact that starting up any small business is risky.

Another things listed in my dreams was to expand my skills in design and photography. I really enjoy them, and much in the way that people have pipe dreams of being famous singers or CEOs, I have a pipe dream of being a photojournalist. It’s certainly nice to fantasise about.

Then, of course, I eventually want the whole marriage and family thing. But I also want to spend at least 3 months in Europe, when I have a decent amount of savings, so that doing so isn’t too financially stressful. And so I can do things like go to super expensive restaurants in Paris, or stay in random luxury hotels.

There were a few other things, but they aren’t really worthy of mention, or are just extremely personal.

I just want everything. And I want to be everything.

taking stock of my actions (aka a follow up to last night)

Today has been somewhat interesting, as I recap and assess my actions last night and post-Wally feelings.

The night was pretty good, despite a few tense moments waiting for people to turn up at the last minute. But, they did arrive, we boarded the boat and explored the fabulous red and white festivities that adorned the windows.

Being a uni event, drinks were cheap, so naturally the bar was quite packed initially. We had 4 hours to get the most out of $3 drinks, before docking and the afterparty started. Plus, you know, it was cold outside and alcohol was yummy and made us not care so much.

The boat itself had two decks, an upper and lower one. The lower deck housed the bar, a dancefloor and an area full of super comfortable couches, which were perfect for chatting and actually hearing what people said. The dancefloor, like any other, made hearing difficult, since the music was blaring quite loudly (an equal blend of music to my taste and unpleasant sounds for my ears).

Upstairs, was a red and white themed lolly buffet, with candy in every form  – chocolate hearts, red licorice, red frogs, musk, milk bottles and even sherbert. For the savoury, and much larger appetite, the occasional platter of pizza magically appeared on some of the tables. There was also a second dancefloor, with a second DJ. This one served as the more popular dance area, probably due to playing more Top 40 tunes than the one below.

People dressed to the theme in varying degrees, but it was spectacular to see that most people abided by the more striking aspects of the Wally costumes. Red and white striped shirts were abundant, but there was also the occasional yellow and black combination to represent Odlaw. Of course, I was one of the more comprehensively costumed ones, but then I was excited about this for weeks.

I spent the night drinking and dancing mostly, and it was decent fun. Of course, it was nothing spectacular, but it has been a while since I unwound and let loose on the dance floor like that. Especially when some of my favourite songs were playing.

I suppose that I re-realised (yes, I had had this epiphany before but not acted on it) that my measures of a good night were flawed, a lot of them being based around how much attention I get from other people. Last night I got enough for a ‘successful’ night by those standards, but I hate judging my nights on that. It’s the issue I’m starting to have with clubbing – other than drinking, dancing and temporary physical comforts, there is no point in it really. The high from the alcohol and dancing wears off, and all you’re left with are blurry memories of bright lights, loud music and the dullness of repetitive movement. At least, that’s how I’m beginning to view it. So, throw in a guy, and the formula goes from being the same pattern, to maybe having a little interruption to its flow.

But that is not how I want to feel.

Maybe I’m getting past the age where clubbing is great (I loved it for the first couple of years after my 18th, back when it was all new and exciting). I don’t understand how people can continue the lifestyle well into their 30s. Don’t they grow tired of it, as I have?

That’s probably why, despite my initial intentions, I was so amenable to opting out of the after party. Besides, doing a Maccas run in the city was quite pleasant (and satisfying), despite the pain in my feet. Then we managed to barely make the last train home (well, I missed mine but luckily I have lovely friends who don’t mind my presence in their house overnight), before falling into a much-needed slumber.

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ready to start tackling my demons

I don’t know what it is about today, but I feel stronger. More powerful. And ready to take on the world. Or at least, some of the things that I struggle with in life.

Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve had a run of bad days, and then finally today I started to get things done. And I want to keep doing that. Or maybe this is just a spot of complete luck that I feel like this. I’m not sure, but I do know that I want to kick my issues with anxiety to the curb.

I don’t want to feel like I’m being held back by my fear of failure or embarassment any longer. I’m sick of it defining me, controlling me, imprisoning me. There have been so many situations where I’ve felt it insidiously seeping in, and preventing me from doing things I’d love to do. Like maintain a conversation beyond whatever the initial input from the other person. Or  even attend that class I’ve had trouble with ever since the tutor said he expected more input from me each week.

Until last year, I didn’t even know that the terror I was feeling was even classed as an abnormality. I thought everyone felt nervous to this extent over simple things, and that they were just better at handling or hiding it. But then I was told that no, I was actually suffering a mental disorder and that it could be overcome. Ever since receiving that news, I have noticed the constant presence of fear in my life. Noticed it, but not been able to overcome it.

Every time I’ve tried to fix the things that have gone wrong in my life, other aspects have been the focus. Well, now I’m making anxiety the focus, and the reign of tyranny has to end.

I’m going to seek proper help, but until I get around to that, I’m going to stick to past materials I have about it and the assistance of the internet. So far, I’ve found the tips on two websites to sound reasonable and achievable, so I’ll start with those (as well as practising mindfulness and meditation, two things which I’ve done to help before but haven’t kept up). I will probably also get back into reading The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris, which I go halfway through before taking an extended break.

I am going to try to:

  • Challenge negative thoughts where it is reasonable, and try to focus on what I want to happen, instead of what I don’t want to happen (for example, instead of worrying about how I really don’t want to my mind to go blank, I’m going to think about how I would like to know about a person’s job)
  • Where this isn’t possible, just let the thoughts come and go, without buying into what they are saying. This can easily be done by placing them on leaves in a stream or on clouds, and watching them float by, thus putting a distance between what they’re saying and what I’m actually focusing on
  • Recognise and label unhelpful thinking patterns, so that I can see when I’m heading into trouble. No more catastophising, attempts at fortune telling or mind reading.
  • Keep in mind that people’s actions are more related to them and the mess in their heads, than in what I’m doing or not doing
  • Grounding myself when I’m getting overwhelmed
  • Look around me, instead of focusing internally during anxiety-provoking situations. I will actually pay attention to small details, instead of just staring off into space.
  • Fake it til I make it. It actually helps, when you put enough effort in.
  • Face my fears. Slowly, I will put myself in social situations and work my way up to those things I find truly terrifying (being the centre of attention by making speeches, holding social events).
  • Try to do what I want, instead of what I think others want. I’d love for it to all be as simple as saying that I don’t care what others think, but that seems an impossible goal since identity is, in a way, an outward concept, and dependent on how others see you. While you see yourself one way, the opinion of the masses is likely to drown that out, and your identity becomes formed by the general consensus.

There are probably more techniques I can try, but for now, these should help.

Starting today, I am composed of fight, not fear.

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questioning my perception

“Bleurgh, I do not feel like studying. All I want to do is sleep.” you mope to yourself. And you do. For several hours you are dead to the world, oblivious to the many things you have to do do. Like study for tomorrow’s test. Or start that assignment. But right now, the pressure is getting to you, so you avoid everything and just nap. And when you are incapable of any more sleep, there are always movies to occupy your time (and your mind). Finally, after managing to slog through a whole day of this, you give yourself over to the night.

Upon waking, you realise that the test is in one hour. “Shit, shit, shit”. You tumble out of bed, and blearily force yourself through the motions of showering, putting on make-up and searching for appropriate footwear. Hastily, you grab your laptop, and open it on the kitchen table. Mumbling something or other about variables and field research (the topic of today’s test) you rush through preparing your breakfast of oatmeal and coffee. When, finally, after 10 minutes of stirring and arranging, it is edible, you clunk it down on the table and collapse into a chair. The time is 8:15am, you have to leave in 5 minutes. With searing pain exploding all around your mouth, you shovel the steaming apple-peanut butter goodness into your mouth. But you don’t have time to taste it, you barely have time to scan the lecture notes opened in Microsoft Word in front of you. Oh, crap. It’s time to go. You just pray that whatever knowledge you gained from attempting this subject for a few weeks last year and your scattered attendance this year has seeped in enough for you to scrape by.

How is it that sometimes when we are so unprepared, we can still do well? And yet other times, we can study our brains into a coma but we still barely scrape by with a pass? It’s not a person to person thing – it’s a test to test thing, for I’m pretty sure this happens to everyone. In high school, we were so eager to fall into one category or the other – the “I don’t need to study, I can make good grades anyway” or the “I study very hard and it pays off”. But, truthfully, we are both. Or neither.

I got my marks back today from a test where I did not think I did stellar. And yet, I managed to score a number that I would have been pleased with even if I had studied really hard. The scenario above was how my study went – not at all, really. I walked out of the test hoping I hadn’t messed up anything too obvious, and thinking I’d be happy with something in the range of 50%-60%.

But I got more, and now I wonder whether my perception of my performance was wrong. I never figured out an accurate judge of performance – in school I was convinced that when I walked out feeling like I aced it, it spelt failure for sure (and vice versa). But then I had a few in-class essays and SACs where I sauntered out and still got the grades I wanted. Come university time, I was permanently unsure, and my marks were all over the place.

So, when asked how I felt I did on a test, I now respond with a simple “I don’t know”. But my lack of perception in my performance in this instance certainly makes me question my perceptions of how I compare in others.

Maybe I do see myself wrong, or maybe it’s just that life is so unpredictable that trying to find a system of determining success before the judgement call is futile.

English: stamp with the words "Fail"...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


If I had a catchphrase it would be “I’m such a child”. Especially if you judged it upon my behaviour at work. I’m constantly excusing my childlike enthusiasm over new drinks or desserts coming out, to the point where many of the other managers have called me a child. I just cannot help myself; getting that enthusiastic over something gives me something to look forward to. And at my work, that is sorely needed.

It also happens when I get frustrated with something, generally a piece of technology. When I really get going, I have a tendency to stomp my feet as a way to get the frustration and anxiety out of me. I’m not ashamed of this habit, despite being called on it a few times, since I figure I could do so much worse than stomp my feet. Even if it does make me appear immature.

But I’ve always believed it’s important to retain some childish behaviours and enthusiasms; after all, we tend to glorify those days, so why not hold on to some of the things that made them great?



This is the second day in a row that I’ve had nothing to say. Not even my drafts feel adequate (which is what you received last night).

So I’m in need of a prompt. Which will be:

Describe a perfect world. 

I generally try not to think about this too much, lest I get caught in the trap of wishing away the life I have, but I suppose there are a few key things I would include. I would erase oppression, just because I feel that even the small lessons it teaches can be taught in other forms. It’s a very naive and idealistic desire, but rising above circumstances is lesson that you learn in many ways throughout life, from other forms of suffering. And cruel as it may sound, I would keep some of the suffering. Maybe distribute it a little more equally – it seems that some of the worst things that have happened to people I know have been contained to a small few, despite their rather great number.

I would also make it so that you could eat however you wanted without gaining weight or suffering nutritional deprivation. Then you could just eat entirely according to what tastes good without having that niggling feeling of “oh, I shouldn’t” and the phrase diet would finally listen to its first three letters.

I think it might also be nice to abolish the money system of trading, and go back to bartering. It just feels like that would take a lot of pressure off people to work jobs they hate simply to earn enough money to appear successful to others. They could instead trade their passions for goods and services, such as making hats in exchange for singing lessons.

I would erase sweatshops and animal abusive practises, which exist today when they really shouldn’t.

And I’d teach people to deal with conflict better.

School wouldn’t be so grade-focused, because numbers are really not that important. Everyone’s main goal would be health, satisfaction and general happiness. I feel like most people have lost sight of these things in current society. We pursue goals of wealth, fame and adoration without realising that the real reason we seek these is to improve our lives and thus be happy, even though the goals themselves prove to be barriers to this ultimate end.

I would give people more leisure time in the week, perhaps in the form of every wednesday being a public holiday (no shops even, because retail workers need it too). Sort of similar to a Sabbath day but without religious affiliations, where basically you endeavour to use it to explore the world, bond with friends and family or just see some of the amazing scenery around you. It would be a day of discovery each week.

I’m sure there is more I would have in my utopian world, but I cannot picture it today. Maybe I’d resurrect unicorns or something like that.

But I feel I’ve exposed enough of my fantastical dreaming tonight.

impatient for my online purchases

I am not a patient person. Especially not when I buy something online that I desperately want, and then have to wait 2 weeks for it to arrive. In this case, it is a Pentax film SLR which I am dying to use. I miss the days of film photography, when every shot you took was more important because they were so expensive and you couldn’t erase them. And with this camera, I’ll really be able to learn photography techniques, since the settings are all manually adjusted.

Pentax K1000

Of course, I’m getting a digital SLR for my 21st birthday in a month and half, and that is super exciting too, it’s just a long way off. And I haven’t looked at it, pouring over every single detail and staring at its image for hours on end, imagining it around my neck and in my hands. I haven’t had the chance to own it, but not hold it. So I can remain patient.

The Pentax, however, is so close, and yet so far. According to the last tracking information, it left LA for Australia last week. Hopefully it will be here soon, and I can excuse myself from dull days of work and study, to drive somewhere beautiful and capture the sights I see. I can take myself on mini-adventures with a purpose in mind, rather than having a random desire to go somewhere, but nothing to do when I arrive.

I’m also waiting on a book on exposure, so that I have a more thorough knowledge of what I’m doing, rather than relying on the vague memories I have from the brief intro I got years ago during a multimedia course at school. We did learn useful tips during that time, but unfortunately I haven’t put them into practise much since and my recollection isn’t the sharpest. I remember the composition advice more than the technical knowledge. Probably because I lived and breathed the design elements that year, which mirrored the photography elements we employed. It paid off, I did fairly well in the subject.

I find it kind of annoying that the items I ordered later have arrived before so many that I purchased a few weeks ago. I have my Where’s Wally costume for the booze cruise of that theme that I’m attending in a couple of weeks, but where are the books and cds I ordered first?

Shopping on the internet can be so frustrating and backwards sometimes.

Oh, and on a side note, I didn’t end up trying the mulled cider last night. Just lots of regular cider.

an ardent admirer of antiques

English: Antiques being sold on Colaba Causeway

English: Antiques being sold on Colaba Causeway (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over the last few years, I have developed a passion for antique and vintage items, whether it be furniture, clothing or random knick knacks. I mentioned when I bought the vintage sailor dress that I love the idea of objects having a life before I encounter them, and while this is the main attraction I have to them, there is more to it. Things made in years gone just tingle my senses more. I find them to be infinitely more attractive when they’re from periods I admire. Of course, every era has its embarrassments – some of the brown and orange stripes of the 70s were pretty hideous, or the neon of the 80s. But it also had its definitive style statements – the beautiful art deco of the 1920s or the fabulous mod dresses of the 1960s. They’re so stunning that my eyes begin to water when I look at them.

Over the last year I became obsessed with a massive antique warehouse 15 minutes from my house, where I’ve forked over a good deal of money on beautiful furniture and homewares. The furniture needs a little restoration, but that’s why I’ve been getting such good deals on them. Including the couch pictured below, which needs quite a bit of restoration to the woodwork, springs and covering, but had such a lovely frame (and price) that I couldn’t resist.

Jacobean sofaJust think of what its life could have been, and now I’m bestowing the gift of regeneration on it.

Is it any wonder, after all this, that I’m thrilled to be going to a bar filled with antiques, candlelight and chaise lounges in the near future? I think not. To me, there really could not be a better bar.


lusting after beautiful clothing over the internet

I used to have a problem with window shopping. I couldn’t walk past a shop without mentally spending more money than I have on beautiful clothes and underwear.

Now that I have a Paypal account and debit card, this problem has only grown through the medium of the internet. Etsy, eBay, random online boutiques…they’re all going to be the death of my bank balance.

I think perhaps the worst of all was my introduction to Fishpond – an Australian shopping website with far better prices than Amazon for books and music. Since my first purchase in late 2011, I have given hundreds of dollars (probably thousands really) to that website, and now have the giant safety hazard of books beside my bed. I buy almost all my books there now, even my textbooks.

And my wishlist contains some 60-70 books I still want to purchase. Just like my eBay watch list and my Etsy favourites. It’s terrible.

Right now I’m going crazy over gorgeous lingerie, pretty party dresses, abundant knitwear and photography guides. And I’m waiting on so many items – an 1980s film SLR, sunglasses, a costume for a booze cruise, clothing, books and cds.

A lot of it seems to be useless stuff that just clutters up my life needlessly, but I love buying it. And when I click the ‘commit to buy’ button, I truly believe I need it.

But I feel this is society today – gathering together all these things we don’t need, but convince ourselves we cannot go on without. We are perpetual consumers, never content with what we have. It’s a cycle that never ends.

And my bank balance is tired of it (even if I’m not).

A credit card, the biggest beneficiary of the ...

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)