Sunday, October 7, 2012


So much has changed for me in the past two months.

I'm single for the first time in years, I've moved home to the house I grew up in, people I would see every day are now people I may never see again.

Life has changed.

All the while the world hasn't stopped moving, uni still needs attention, work still needs me to show up, friends still throw parties and bills keep coming. My mind is so full with the every day that that I have had no time to process this change. I have been so quick to stick band-aids on it by taking on extra shifts, talking to new boys, and drinking way too much alcohol. It has to stop.

I'm Exhausted. I would very much like for the world to kindly stop spinning and let me get off for just a moment. 

Whilst I know I have made the right decision and I feel the most incredible peace about my future, it's just so weird when your life is going full steam ahead in one direction and then you make one decision and suddenly you are sure of nothing except that your life will be different to what it was.

A chapter ended, a page turned and I don't think I was prepared for the fact that the hardest part of my decision was not getting the courage to leave but continuing to have the courage to keep walking forward even if I am not entirely sure where that is leading me.

I don't have a 5 year plan, I don't have a clear idea of what my next step will be but I am beginning to realise that it's ok to not know. You'll figure it out, you'll find your way.

Before you can cross the ocean you have to lose sight of the shore.

smile often

Ps. personal goal for the next 6 months.

- No drinking
- No courting male attention

I'm going to do this the healthy way or die of boredom trying!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Just saying...

Ok boys and girls,
Gather around and I am going to tell you some home truths that yo' mummas were too nice to tell you.

Ladies, lets go first:
1. CALM THE ACTUAL EFF DOWN! I understand that all your ovaries are drying up and you need to have 2.5 kids and a house in the suburbs by the time you're 25 or you won't fulfill societies bullshit rules for your life, but seriously, I feel like I need to quote Taylor Swift to ya'll: "In your life you'll do things greater than dating the boy on the football team, I didn't know it at 15" (or 23 or 35). I might get it if you are a 47 year old crack addict who isn't going to meet anyone any time soon but girls, you're not, you're stunning women who are working and studying and having amazing social lives and you are so preoccupied with finding a dude to sit around and do nothing with. You know what I realised after 5 years straight in 2 back to back relationships? The best thing about having nobody to sit around and do nothing with is that I stoped doing nothing. I don't have to ask anyones permission.
I have assignments that need working on, and now I have nobody to tell me to come to bed/watch a movie/do it later.
I want to go out with my friends and sleep on whoevers couch I end up on, and now I have nobody to make me feel guilty for that.
I want to go to Tanzania and help in an orphanage for 6 weeks mid next year, and now I have nobody to tell me it's too dangerous.
I want to do a semester in Miami next year after that, and now I have nobody to worry about sitting at home for 6 months.
I hate the idea that we think our value is based on whether some dude wants to bang us or not, just calm down, it will happen and stressing about it isn't going to make it happen any faster. Enjoy having nobody and just do what you love and have fun.

2. Stop making excuses for guys. Why is it that so often I can be having a great dinner or drinks or whatever and I look over at my friends who have everything going for them and they are all upset because some guy didn't reply to their text message or they didn't return their call but "I totally saw him update his status on facebook, so I know he has his phone."
Ummm sooo here's the thing, please don't hit me, but he isn't shy, his phone isn't broken, he hasn't been in a freak gasoline fight accident, he DID get the message and for the love of God please don't press send on that fourth message. It seems pretty obvious to me, if he wants to talk to you he will talk to you, if he doesn't he wont. If he wants to see you he will make time for you and if he doesn't want to see you he won't. Stop making excuses for them, it really isn't that difficult. Why is it such a big deal? He didn't reply? Sweet now you know he isn't interested. Next.
Because now that I have told you the bad news, here is the good news, IT DOESN'T MATTER! It doesn't matter if the hot plumber likes you or not, some guys will dig you, some guys won't, that doesn't define you. You're probably amazing and that isn't because anyone does or doesn't like you, it's because you know who you are and don't need anyone to help you feel that. Right?!

If you are going to tell us you love us or want to marry us within 2 weeks, you better hope that we run for the hills, because if a girl doesn't then she is probably one of those girls who is afraid her ovaries will dry up and she will be left on the shelf (see above). Now I know people would argue that there is exceptions but to be honest you might think "well she is a bit of alright" but you don't know what she is like when she is PMSing or having a fat day, or God forbid you don't answer her 13th call (told you, crazy ovaries lady). Just chill, have fun for a while, if a girl likes you she isn't going anywhere and a little bit of mystery is very sexy.

2. We don't always go for "bad boys"!
Nobody likes being treated badly, and I understand that we women are ridiculous and hard to read but pretty much every girl I have ever met wants to be with a guy that only has eyes for her and actually makes the effort that we are worth. BUT, the reason you think we only go for bad boys is because we aren't going for you. Here's the thing, and brace yourself because your ego won't like this, it's definitely not because we don't like that you are nice, it's probably because we don't like that you are socially awkward, or always forget to brush your teach, or work at McDonalds, or wear clothes from 5 seasons ago. There is a million reasons we aren't going for you and absolutely none of them are because you are nice. Stop worrying about girls that don't like you and find a girl that might, you like play station and eating pizza at home on a Saturday night? Awesome, find someone who loves that too, because miss sexy who goes out to fancy clubs, wears Prada and sleeps only in Egyptian cotton probably isn't going to be too down for that. What about the cute chick at the book store who sometimes chats for just a bit too long, wonder what she is up to this week? Stop hating girls and thinking we always go for "bad boys" and start going for girls who you might actually have something in common with.

3. Make a move.
If you like a girl, tell her! Just tell her! I have had guys tell me they like me before and I have had to say, look sorry I'm not really feeling that, but I never thought less of them. Then I have had 2 guys tell me they liked me and I liked them too and wam bam thankyou mam, we dated for years. Don't play games, don't play hard to get, invite her out, make her feel special, tell her how you feel, worse case scenario, she doesn't feel the same way and you have lost nothing. However, if you never tell her, some other guy is going to come along and tell her and you are going to always wonder "what if?" Don't wait for her to make a move, be a man, take the lead and thank me later.

Ok, I'm glad I got that off my chest. Next time I have to give advice I will direct you all to this. I promise I do it out of love.

Smile often
Beth x

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Totally Turned Off

Last night I was reading through some of my old journals. I was immediately imported to a simpler time, and despite the terrible grammar and obvious teen angst, one thing I could not deny about teen-girdle is her originality, honesty and consistency. It got me thinking about my current writing habits, or lack there of. The sporadic nature of my journal entries made me concerned for my career as a Journalist and I realised that there is one huge difference between my journal entries then and now. That difference is distraction.

At the age of 14 I didn't have a laptop, I didn't have a smart phone, I didn't even have a crush. My room was a sanctuary completely separate from the outside world where I could create, dream, process, explore and write a heck of a lot of pages. Today I am constantly checking my phone, replying to texts, wondering if I will get texts, stalking relative strangers on facebook, searching 'inspiration' on instagram and tumblr, engaging my heart and efforts into the plethora of distractions available at my finger tips. I realised that I have lost the art of being present, switching off and engaging with what is in front of me, even if that is just a blank piece of paper. I am reminded that once upon a time that is all it took to excite and ignite me.

Tonight I put my Iphone in my mothers safe (extreme I know, but that is how little I trust myself), didn't allow myself to go onto any social networking sights and spent the night in my bedroom alone. Truly alone. Alone in the way that you can only ever experience when you are apart from technology. I have no idea if anyone tried to call or text me tonight, no idea if any of my posts got "likes" by people I wouldn't cross the road to say hi to, no idea if anyone posted anything new on instagram.

And you know what this taught me?
-I am no where near as important as I would like to think I am. The world didn't end, nothing burnt down, nobody died. I don't need to be contactable 24/7, the world will go on without my attention for a few hours.
-I can achieve a lot in one night. I finished an essay, I wrote in my diary, I read 2 chapters of a book that has been sitting on my bed side table waiting for me to give it some love, I washed and dried my hair and I wrote this blog. How much time do I waist everyday on these stupid time drainers and ego boosting conversations? Why do I need to be constantly texting? why do I need to be posting everything I'm doing online? When did this become so important to me? How much time and effort do I waist that I could be throwing behind my passions?

-I am not defined by anyone else. If my value constantly comes from the acceptance of others then it will go up and down based on how much acceptance I have from those people.
12 people text me today, super valuable; nobody text me for 5 hours, not so valuable.
30 likes on a facebook status, watch that value sore; no likes, no value.
Blog gets 200 hits, I'm running for mayor of value land; blog gets 3 hits, might as well jump off something tall.
You know what the problem is with basing your personal value on the acceptance of others? People can chose to take that acceptance away at any time they want and then what are you left with? It's not fair to walk around with some gaping hole waiting for someone to fill it, nobody can complete you, and as romantic as it all sounds, you can't complete anyone either. Until you are happy and whole all by yourself you have no business trying to get your co dependence all up in anyone's grill. Trust me, I am preaching to myself here.

And you know what else?
I think I like this whole idea, I think I'll use it more often.

-I want to re-learn the art of being present. I want to engage with the conversations in front of me instead of checking my phone to distract me from the present moment. I wonder how many things I have missed because I was too busy focusing my attention on things that just didn't matter.

-I want to be able to be alone without needing anyone to validate my existence. Sit in my room with a good book and a cup of tea and be completely ok with the silence, completely at ease within myself and without anyone else.

-I want to gain back originality. I realised that you lose sight of your own beliefs, thoughts, fears, hopes and dreams when you are constantly bombarded with who and what everyone else is doing. I find myself comparing my inner world with everyone else's outer world and constantly feeling like I don't meet up, like I haven't done enough, achieved enough, lived enough. How can we create anything original when we are bombarded with the ideas and beliefs of everyone else. ALL OF THE TIME!

Tonight was freeing. Tonight was a little visit back to a simpler time and I loved it. Here's to many more nights of being totally turned off.

Smile often

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Two Years of Gratitude

As I stood in the shower tonight (because we all know that's where the thinking happens) it dawned on me that this month marks two years since I sat in a cardiologists office and was told that my heart was failing and I would need to have heart surgery.
I left Royal Perth Hospital that day and immediately called three people, one of them came to my house and saw me that night, one of them distracted me the whole next day while I skipped out on work and one of them came to the next cardiology appointment with me. Not one of those three people are in my life anymore.

It made me realise how quickly life can change, how fast the days, months and years fly by and how much you need to really treasure every moment you have with every person you have, whether that person is going to be in your life forever or not.

It also got me thinking about seasons.

Does the fact that someone isn't in your life today detract from the impact they had on your life while they were in it?

Do friendships and relationships that end, even permanently, mean less than the ones that stay with you forever?

Do the people that occupy the last 20 years of your life mean more than the ones that occupied the first 20?

I realised that sometimes friends, just like Jobs or cities or homes, are temporary. They are meaningful and perfect and exactly what you needed for that period of your life but they are not permanent. They are not forever but that doesn't have to mean that they were not valuable.

I think we spend so much time focusing on the fact that people are gone that we spend no time thanking God that they were here in the first place. We spend so much time remembering how things ended or the hurt we felt when they ended that we forget to remember the good things. For every mean word or harsh action there was a thousand words of encouragement and acts of kindness.

I have stopped thinking that the value of someones presence in your life is based on how long they stay, instead I am choosing to be happy that they were there at all.

I still have not had heart surgery, I am happy and healthy and believing for the best and I am grateful today for the people I would call if that time was ever to come, even if they aren't the same people as two years ago.

Smile Often

Thursday, September 6, 2012

My Superman

Last Sunday was Fathers Day. A day we set aside to celebrate that man in our lives who gave us life. For some people that is all a father gives but I am lucky, my father gave me so much more. So this ones for my dad.

I remember "daddy daughter days" when my father would wake me up in the morning and tell me to pick whatever I wanted to do. My answer consisted of various activities but it almost always included going through the car wash. I don't know why, but I'm sure we had the cleanest car in town because every second Saturday I would be dragging my dad off to the car wash.

I remember sitting on the front row of the church my father pastored and each Sunday it would come to that time of communion. As I took my little piece of bread and my tiny cup of grape juice my dad would pick me up onto his lap and whisper in my ear the story of Jesus. I remember the way he valued me and didn't think I was too little to understand. I remember a man who was responsible for over 100 people in that room but was never too important to give his daughter the time to build into her life, even if that meant saying the same thing every single week.

I remember weekends in Pemberton when we would build forts, race leaves down streams and walk through ancient forests.

I remember sitting in the car park of our local caltex when my dad told me that he was leaving and my parents were getting a divorce. Whilst this broke my heart and made me question everything, the strongest thing I remember about that time is that he left my home but he never left me. He stayed present, engaged and sacrificial. He gave, when he had nothing to give from. While he was losing everything, his family, his career, his friends, he never once dropped the ball or let me see how hard it was for him. He was, as he has always been, a pillar in a time of uncertainty and a soft place to fall. 

I remember years when my dad would buy me and my sister MacDonalds for dinner and order nothing for himself. Later I found out it was because he couldn't afford it as a minimum wage security guard.

I remember countless sleepovers in my dads lounge room with 5 girls sprawled all over the furniture full of pizza and high on fizzy drink and lollies. My dad would drive us wherever we needed to go, buy us whatever we needed to have and then retreat to his bedroom and leave us to swoon over Chad Michael Murray.

I remember watching tears well up in his eyes every time he had to hold me down to have a test or a procedure for my heart. The way he would come to the hospital after a 12 hour shift just to sit next to me and hold my hand as I slept.

I remember sitting next to him in a psychologists office as a 130kg male tried desperatley hard to understand how his 45kg daughter could believe so strongly that she was fat and ugly that she starved herself for 5 years.

And finally I remember my 21st birthday party when my dad, the greatest man I have ever known, stood up and told a room full of people that he was proud of me (and that I am pretty enough for all normal purposes...).

There has never been a day when I have felt unsafe if I know that my dad is there.
If I ever needed anything for school, no problem, he would pull some extra shifts.
If I didn't know how to do my homework, no problem, he would sit at the table and explain it to me.
If I couldn't pay my bills when I moved out at 19, no problem, he would put it on his credit card and help me move all my stuff back home.

Even when stuff was hard, I never knew it was hard because I had a dad filter between me and the world. I never had to wonder if things would be ok because I just knew that he would figure it out before it ever affected my life.

I know that so many people don't get to have the story that I have. So many people suffer with fathers that are angry, abusive, cold or absent.

I know that I have something to be so grateful for.
I have a man in my life that taught me how I should be treated by a man.

I only hope that one day I marry someone who can be the father to my children that my father is to me.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Today I spent the day cleaning my room, shopping for groceries, doing two loads of washing, reorganising my draws and giving A LOT of clothes and shoes to good sammies. Today could very well have been a boring day. Today could very well have been a mundane day. Today could very well have been a lonely day, but today was none of those things; Today was very possibly life changing.

How could a day spent running errands and cleaning alone in your house be life changing? Easily, my friend, because of the company I kept whilst doing it. Today was podcast central and what started at TED talks ended up with me listening to every commencement speech of Standford University since 2005. I listened to encouragment from everyone from Steve Jobs to Operah Winfrey and it seemed that as my room got cleaner so too did my soul. The same thoughts kept coming through over and over again from all the different people, people that have truly changed the world we live in, people that have innovated technology, founded companies, fought poverty and empowered nations. All of these people had such great things to say and I don't even know how to do them justice in my tiny little blog except to point you towards them and add only my reflections as I sit here in a clean room tonight, Looking and hoping towards a future on my own terms and not the terms of others. Here is the 3 main things I lernt today:

1. Find out what you love and then figure out a way to get paid for it.
Steve Jobs said "The only way to be satisfied is to do what you believe is great work and the only way to do great work is to love what you do."
It got me thinking about who I am and who I was before I let myself be swayed by others. All I know is that I wrote my first Journal entry when I was 11 years old and have kept a Journal religiously since I was 14. Words help me to figure out the world around me, I write so that at the end I may have a better idea of my own head than I did at the start, sometimes it works straight away and sometimes it takes weeks of nutting it out on paper before I have arrived but it is therapy for me and I am my most authentic self when I am sitting with a sheet of paper in front of me and a pen in my hand. I can almost gage when my life is going off course because I stop writing, I stop questioning, I put myself on autopilot and close my eyes in fear that writing will lead me to have to change.
The other thing I am passionate about is people and their stories, I feel completely honoured when someone chooses to open up to me, I cry when I see someone cry, I'd rather watch a documentary over a hollywood movie anyday. I just love peoples stories and the power they have to cut through all the crap and the debates and hit you right in the guts telling you that we are not alone in all of this and there are people who have gone before and will come after and maybe our stories are powerful too.
I'm still figuring out a way to combine all this and get paid for it but for now I'm happy doing it for free.

2. Be true to yourself and your dream.
Susan Rice said "Never want something so badly that you do something you don't believe in to get it."
I know that this will look so different for so many people but for me it comes in the form of my biggest downfall, the fear of rejection. I have a dream, I can almost categorically tell you piece by piece what that dream looks like but I wouldn't because it is huge and I am far to fragile to have it squashed with everyone telling me I can't when I do that enough myself. The problem is I let things get in the way, I let myself get distracted, I've taken all the head and heart space that a little girl of 14 had reserved for her dream and I have dished it out to people, I have put everything on the line to feel loved and accepted by people, dimmed myself so as to not offend, diluted my dreams so as not to come on too strong, actively participated in heading down a path that is not the path I was born to travel, but a path I was willing to take if it meant that people would like me, if it meant that maybe someone would love me. I deeply believe that who I am is unlovable and so I have played the roles that people need me to play and traded in my hearts deepest desires to gain what I never even wanted. I have wanted people to love and accept me so badly that I have silenced myself and done things I don't believe in to get it, and let me promise you something right here, all that does is leave you awake at 2am wondering if this life, the one you actively created, is all there is and slowly but surely your dream begins to die. Which just happens to be a great segway into my third lesson from today.

3. Life is hard and you never stop learning.
Oprah Winfrey said "When something bad happens in life don't ask yourself "why me?" instead ask yourself "what is this situation trying to teach me?"
I have had a lot of twists and turns in my life, I was born with a serious heart condition, I was adopted, my parents broke up when I was 9, I was abused, I was bullied, I suffered a severe eating disorder, was in a rehabilitation center by 18, have been rejected, had my heart broken, and 2 nights ago my boyfriend gave me the finger and told me we were over after I had done nothing but love him and pay his way for a good portion of the last 13 months. If there is one thing I can tell you for sure, pain reminds you of whats important. Things happen in life to redirect us and redefine us and sometimes that really hurts but I know for sure that I wouldn't change a thing about my life because, as cliche' as it is, it has made me who I am today. I don't know who I would be if I had a more functional childhood, I don't know if I'd be a selfish twat but I might be. What I do know is that I can relate so much to hurting young people and I so deeply don't want anyone to ever feel as alone as I did during that time and that makes me 100% more committed to helping people because I know what it feels like to not be ok. I also know that wounds heal, they become scars and they fade. You will never be as if they never happened but you will go on and you will heal. Sometimes it's too much to ask you to get through today, sometimes all I can ask is that you get through this minute, then an hour, then a day, sometimes all I can ask is that you survive until it starts to feel better and it will, I promise it will. Saturday night I cried until I couldn't breath, I sat on the Kitchen floor and I hyperventilated all by myself but you know what, eventually my tears ran dry, I went to bed and the sun still got up the next day. Today I cleaned my room and got inspired and today I wrote again for the first time in 2 months. It took my heart being broken to really get back to who I was and who I was on the path to losing. You will fail. People will hurt you. There will be nights when you cry yourself to sleep and there will be times when hope is absent from your sight but don't despair in those moment, because they are there to teach you something and the quicker you learn it the quicker you can get up and move on.

4. Give back and be generous.
I don't have a quote for this one but it was a theme that every person spoke about. True happiness doesn't come from what you have or how famous you can be, true happiness comes from sacrifice for others and being the change you want to see in the world. The truth is that if you want to have a big house, a luxury car and an expensive boat and you work really hard and save you can have all those things, but they wont make you happy. Money helps you in as much as if you don't have it you will stress about it and it will cause you unhappiness but once you have enough, once your bills are paid, the extras on top? That doesn't make you happy, it makes you capable to affect change. We are the richest people in the world. We live in peace and safety and abundance, we throw away perfectly good food and stand in the shower watching clean water run down the drain, we are already rich. But how can we afford to sleep easily while billions of people suffer, be it from wars, famines, slavery, injustice, corruption, genocide, we throw these words around and reblog some photos and think we are changing things and I'm not saying that isn't great because it is and I love peoples hearts when they do those things but what about things that take sacrifice? Get on a plane, go see the world, get uncomfortable, get angry, witness these words in action because I believe that once we see, then we will be compelled to change things. Not everyone is called to move to Africa or Cambodia or Iraq but everyone is called to help the poor. Jesus Christ, who's opinion matters far more than anyone else I have quoted tonight said "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me... I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." When was the last time you fed someone that was hungry or helped a stranger or looked after the sick? This was never a suggestion, never a job for the few who have the time, the money or the skills, this is not a new idea that these people have invented for speeches, this is bread and butter, this is non-negotiable. This is a calling for everyone, however that looks for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Smile often

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What I Will Tell My One-Day Daughter

You have a choice.

Nobody can make you feel any way without your permission. Your life does not depend on the decisions of a man, a parent or a teacher, you have the ability to make your own choices and choose your own destiny. When you say something, mean it and when something means a lot to you, say it. Don’t be silenced by the crowd, don’t play small to fit the box you have been given and don’t play dumb to make someone else feel smarter. Know your worth and value it. Never be afraid to require more, if you lose somebody because you respect yourself, that is a sure way of knowing that they were never meant to be there in the first place.
You are beautiful, stunning in fact, and you are a woman, but don’t use that to your advantage. Keep your heart open but don’t trade your sexuality for love, the currencies are never the same.

Don’t get bogged down in the formalities of our society, people don’t write songs about careers and superannuation funds. People write songs about love and heartache and family and things that really matter. So don’t be afraid to fall in love, some people will hurt you but some people wont and at the end of the day people are all we have. This doesn’t mean that what you do won’t matter so whatever you flourish in do it with all your heart and know that I always have a safe place for you to fall whenever you don’t quiet make it. Get up one more time than you fall down and never trample on anyone to get ahead.

Always be kind to strangers and never turn your eyes from injustice. Give more often than you receive and find joy in the small things. Laugh loudly and often, the uglier the better. And when you need to, don’t be afraid to cry. Don’t be afraid of silence; in fact enter it with wonder. Don’t be afraid of being alone, it is in the waiting that hope becomes your anchor. You must have the courage to live your life boldly so that others may have the courage to do the same. You were not a mistake, you are here for a reason, you have a purpose and your ideas are valid. Never be afraid to ask a question because ignorance serves nobody. Seek truth, hold onto hope and above all else: Love the Lord who created you and Love the people he created around you.