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.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easter - part one

Today is Good Friday.

It is one of only 2 days on the Australian calendar when the country takes a moment to rest. Shops stop selling, businesses close their doors and people take off to the country. I don't know what today means to you this Good Friday but for many Australians today is a time for family, a time to relax, unwind and have a few too many beers by the BBQ. These are all amazing things that I hope our culture never loses, it is a freedom so many in the world will never get and I have a cider sitting beside me as I write this.

But there is more to it than that.

Whoever you are, whatever you believe and whatever your thoughts are on Easter I want you to know I respect them and wish not to offend nor condemn anyone with what I am about to say. Please know that I love you all and think all opinions are valuable and encouraged so please don't disengage with me because of mine.

I have been attending church since I was adopted to a pastor and his wife when I was 5 months old. I became a christian when I was 4 years old and was baptised at 7. I attended a Christian school from year 1 to year 12 and I know all the bible stories back to front, so this God thing isn't new to me but there is one thing that gets me every single time.

Today I sat in an easter service with tears running down my face for the 22nd time in my life. You see, I cannot remember a single time that I have not been reduced to a blubbering mess at the realisation of the story of easter. So often I question my value, I look to men to validate my worth and I see myself mared through the lenses of society. I feel inadequate, awkward and unlovable most of the time and at the deepest part of my heart I wonder if I will ever truly be enough. I don't know if anyone else feels that way but today as I sat in that service I was overcome with a brand new wave of love. A love that has been washing over me since I can remember but a love that I so often choose to ignore. You see, today is not just about family or rest or chocolate, though they are definitely important parts (especially the chocolate), today is about so much more than that, Today is about God becoming a man and taking a break from the clouds to pick up the tab for the brokenness of humanity. Today is a story of hope, today is a story of rescue, today is a story that tells us that we are enough. We are worth dying for, we are not alone.

I don't know where you find yourself today, if you are surrounded by family and friends or trying desperatly to hold it together on one of the few days you cannot pretend you don't lack those very things. I don't know your story, I don't know the reasons you cry yourself to sleep a night or the insecurities that sit just below the layers of makeup you carefully apply every morning. I don't know why Good Friday may find you nowhere near 'Good'

But here is what I do know.

I know of both the divinity of God and the humanity of Jesus. I know that over 2,000 years ago a man laid down his life not only to buy you a golden ticket to some far off promise land but to take on the burdens you feel in your everyday. In your today. There is hope, and it is not whimsical or fleeting, it is strong like an anchor and rooted in the love of a saviour who cared deeply about not only your future but your present. He doesn't ask you to make a more regal appearance at a more appropriate time, he faced the pit long before we ever got there and this day 2,000 years ago he declared

"It is finished."

And in some ways it was but in so many ways it was just the beginning.

Monday, April 2, 2012


On Saturday I was standing in in my workplace on William street greeting customers as they walked in, probably 60% of them didn't reply, my friend turned to me and said
"Gee my career is so fulfilling" and that made me ask the question; Why?

Why do we do what we do? We spend our lives so very busy all the time always 'doing' but never stopping to ask 'why' we are doing.

Why do we work in jobs that bring us little meaning?
Why do we study degrees that stress us out and ask us to write essay after essay about topics we only sometimes, maybe, care about?
Why don't we all just give up, stay at home and watch movies with our friends?

It gets so easy to lose perspective when you are in the middle of the rat race. We are taking bite sized pieces as we make our way through to the end. Unless we are continuously redirecting our focus back to the question of 'why' it becomes all to easy to give up.

Tonight I was feeling kind of blah, I had been in bed with a migraine all morning, had to go pick up my stuff from my ex's house and came home to an essay I was only half way through that is very much due tomorrow. I was tired, I was sick, I was sad. I sat down at my computer, looked at the screen and cried. I didn't want to be productive, I didn't want to write about literature, I wanted to take a sleeping tablet and go to bed. I wanted to quit.

Then I asked myself the question.. I asked myself why.
Why is giving up not an option, why is finishing this essay critical, why is waking up and going to work tomorrow required, and here was my answer...

When I was 14 I started writing a diary, I have not stopped since, over 30 journals sit in my bottom draw and there isn't even 2 pages that go by without me saying, in one way or another, that I want to help people.

When I was 17, I graduated high school by the skin of my teeth. I never thought I would ever go to university, I just didn't think I was smart enough, but I was. I got into all the 3 courses I applied for and I am currently studying psychology, which makes me light up every time I read something new that makes a little pocket of humanity make just a little bit more sense to me.

When I was 18 I went to a facility to deal with an eating disorder and I found life through some of the most amazing women, who had sat up at night writing essays when they would rather have been in bed. If it wasn't for their own sacrifice, I don't know where I would be today.

Tonight I went onto some websites of amazing organisations around the world that dedicate their time, money and efforts to helping people. These are the organisations I hope to one day be a part of but there is a piece of paper I need to obtain first, a piece of paper I won't obtain without every little piece of the puzzle. A piece of paper I wont obtain without this essay.

The reason I have to write this essay, the reason I work in a retail job for minimum wage whilst I complete a degree, the reason I can't just quit and check out is because one day when I was 14 I decided I wanted to help people, no matter where that took me or what it meant, the road wasn't straight and there were times I didn't even think I'd get this far but I did and it is not an option, it is my responsibility to see this through.

After answering the why, suddenly I found my hope again. I wrote the last 400 words and I understood that it wasn't about the stupid essay or the customers that don't acknowledge you or the fact that I have one day off a week and only make $650 a fortnight. This life is a privileged, education is precious and these years are the incubation of my dreams. I like to think my 14 year old self would be proud.

What is the answer to your why? You may just find that it clarifies things for you and reminds you not to give up.

Smile often

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


I am an ideas person.

Let me expand, I am all about the beautiful quotes, the dreams of changing the world, the hope of making an impact; I have a million different ideas going around in my head all the time.

"I should read a new book, I should write a book, I wonder how much it costs to get to London, can I work in london? My dad was born in England so I'm sure I can work in London, The USA, now I know I can't work in the USA, but maybe Canada, that's just like the USA right? Maybe I should change my major back to writing, maybe I should drop writing and focus on just psych, God I wish uni was over already, maybe I should do my masters overseas, study abroad, maybe not, maybe I should just join an organisation and go to Africa, or Cambodia, I really want to help girls out from human traffiking, but I'm going to need my psych degree for that, I need to focus and not have a boyfriend for at least a year or two, ohh yay texts from cute boys, I wonder how one goes about making a zine, I wonder if my hair will look better if I put some more blonde in it, I really need those Jeffrey Campbell shoes to go with my cheap mondays..." You get the point.

I struggle when it comes to actually sticking to one thing, I start out so well, I have passion and drive and initiative in spades but when it comes to the quiet bits in the middle, the late night assignment writing, the quizzes that take 2 days but only make up 2% of your mark, the millions of pages of research that you pour over to get one paragraph of material you can use. I have to remind myself that these things, the quiet insignificant nights in your room that nobody see's, these are the puzzle pieces that make up the big picture.

My problem is that I get bored too easily and something else always looks more exciting, the grass is always greener on the other side and I get distracted by bright lights and boys with rolled up jeans. I am an addict for dramatics (thanks TBS) but I'm learning that it isn't the big moments when everyone looks at you, the graduations, the weddings, the promotions, that define you, it is the quiet little moments in between that nobody see's and the prudence to stick something out from start to finish. It is realising you can't have it all in life, you have to make decisions and that is when you move forward. You have to pick a path and see something through to the end, take all your eggs and put them in one basket and just see what you are capable of. Thats what I need to do anyway...

Smile often

Thursday, March 1, 2012


"Shine. Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God." Matt 5:16 (MSG)

One of the hardest things to do in life is to be truly real with the people around us. In an age of blogging, social networking and status updating, we are all too capable of telling the world every not-so-funny thought, averagely edited instagram photo and mildly indulgent check in. But ask us to delve even an inch beneath our carefully crafted image and suddenly we have very little to say.

We are so scared that someone might find out that sometimes we cry ourselves to sleep at night, or struggle to get out of bed in the morning, or dream of a better life, partner or career. These secrets are walls that keep us alone. I have always felt in my heart that peoples stories are powerful, that baring our lives could help others that feel as though they are the only ones that stick Adele on repeat and dream of their ex or more seriously, stick their fingers down their throats, slide a blade across their thighs, put on makeup to hide their bruises or stair longingly at the bottle of sleeping pills wishing they would one day have the courage.

Your story is powerful. You are not alone. You are not the only one with insecurities. You are no the only one with broken dreams. It is okay to not be okay. So few people have the guts to admit to not having it all together and have the courage to do the long journey to the heart and do the hard work of the soul that it takes to be whole.

But the ones that do? The ones that dare to go there?
It's their voices that are ultimately heard and their stories that generate change. You have to be brave with your life so that others can be brave with theirs.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Alone but not lonely

Since I have been 19 I have not been single. I mean, my relationship status has read single and I'd go solo to 21st most of the time but I have not really been single.

For 3 years I was consumed by a dramatic relationship that would be all expensive presents and crazy declarations of love one minute, self esteem crippling manipulations and volatile fights the next minute and cold silences for weeks on end the next minute.

It built me up only to break me down and even though we were off far more than we were on, it was still an all consuming relationship that left me little time to even think about moving on.

Finally I did. I fell in love again.

For the past 10 months, since the 20th of April 2011, I have been with someone who I truly believe loved me in the best possible way that he knew how and the truth is that I think I may have hurt him really badly, which was never my intention. Everyone told me that if I stood up and required more, looked after myself and had the guts to walk away when I was hurting, that I would feel empowered and in the long run, I would be happier.

But nobody told me about the guilt.

Nobody told me how bad it feels to hurt someone, to watch them go from loving you to hating you in the blink of an eye. Nobody told me that I would hold back tears at random intervals of the day just because something happened that I wanted to tell him about only to realise that if I was to text him he wouldn't reply.

Nobody told me how alone I would feel, knocking around in this big old world alone not knowing what was coming next, or who would be the next one to hold my hand, or my heart for that matter.

Nobody told me of the nights I wouldn't sleep, so worried that I had done the wrong thing and hurt everyone for no reason. I pray that he will forgive me. I pray that I will forgive myself. I pray that he can one day smile at the thought of me and know that I never meant to hurt him.

This is the first time in 4 years that I have been completely alone. I'm trying my best not to be lonely.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Someone once told me that girls are like alcohol.
"bare with me." he said.
"Most girls" he continued "are like vodka cruisers but you are like straight vodka, a lot harder to take, but a lot more intoxicating."
Some people might take offense to this but I certainly didn't.
I don't ever want to be the sugary counter piece to the real deal. I don't want to be sweet on the tongue but never quite strong enough to have any affect.
When I was told this, I knew that I knew who I was, I was so sure of my future, so unfazed by anything trivial. I wasn't afraid of what people thought, or if I was desired. I was who I was and if you didn't like it, switch to bourbon.

Time changes things.

I fell in love, I wanted to be cool, I gave pieces of myself away, let my resolve be diluted by the desires of others, molded my beliefs to fit more comfortably with the beliefs of the people I so longed to love and accept me.
Each year went by and slowly over time more and more 'flavours' (if you will allow me to continue with the metaphor) were added and less and less of me was left.
I wish I knew how to get that girl back, the head strong no nonsense girl who didn't need anyone to tell she was worth while, the little girl who would stand up for what she believed in.

And if you asked her what her dreams were she would sit you down and take the stars from the sky, one by one explaining how possible the impossible was for her future, and yours as well, and when you were done looking in her eyes of hope and wonder you would feel a buzz, not so unlike a shot of Vodka.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Home Truth's

Last night I was told some things about myself from somebody that I love. Things that were hard to hear. Things that I already knew. It's funny how you can hide your flaws from most people that circle your life but when you truly let someone in they become a mirror for the things you hate most about yourself. It can be very confronting when someone cares enough to call you on your shit and tell you to pull your head in but it can also be an eye opener to the issues in your life. So in an effort to be transparent I have decided to bare it all.

I judge people.
I judge the way people dress, I judge the way people talk, I judge the way people live their lives. I always say that I hate people who judge others but the truth is that I am so very bad at it and it really has to stop. It's funny how I can have compassion on the homeless and the sick and the poverty stricken but when it comes to every day people in my life I'm the first one to make a snide comment about an outfit or brand someone trash because their hair is just a bit too blonde. How can I say I love people when I write them off before they even speak a word. I am part of this worlds problems.

Some of the best people in my life are nothing like me at all, I can think of 3 of the closest people in my life who I wrote off as a dits, a nerd and a bogan. None of them are any of those things and if I hadn't of been in situations where I was forced to get to know them beyond first encounters I never would have gotten to know the hearts that were in them. I would have missed out.

I need to stop judging people, I need to shut my mouth and open my heart, I need to look at whats on the inside and not whats on the outside, I need to give people the chance that I hope they will give me. I need to change.

I am stubborn.
If I think I am right I will not back down, I will not say sorry, I will not hold out an olive branch. I will punish myself to prove a point, I will push people away if I think they are going to hurt me, I can be cold an aloof and unforgiving.

I promise you, dear reader (always wanted to say that), that I don't want to be that way. I have always had to fight in my life, I was told I would die before the age of one, then before the age of four, then when I was fourteen. Being a stubborn little sucker is what has kept me alive and is what has kept me fighting through a world of pain in my life. I beat heart disease, I beat depression, I beat an eating disorder, I beat becoming a statistic. I held on to my life and my sanity like a bulldog with a ball and I guess that has become so ingrained in me that I don't really know how to stop it. I let it run over into my every day life and I keep people at a distance and I hurt them and I hate myself for that.

Inside my heart breaks at the thought that I could be capable of hurting anyone or pushing anyone away but my exterior has become so hard and so well polished that it's hard for me to be vulnerable, to let someone else be right, to care just a little bit less and smile just a little bit more. My past is no excuse for my present. I have to let some things go and save my stubbornness for when it really matters because if I'm wasting all my time fighting about the small stuff then I will have no energy when I'm fighting the big stuff.

I don't know how I can change these things, except by being aware and praying for wisdom and actively trying to treat the people I encounter on a daily basis better. I'm a work in progress.

Smile often

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I want out

As I sit here on a Sunday night looking at blogs from people all around the world I can't help but be drawn to the concept of change. I have been alive for 22 years and have only left my country three times. I keep dreaming up these adventures I want to go on, places I want to see, people I want to encounter and yet I haven't done any of it.

I always promised myself I wouldn't trade in my big crazy dreams for a 9-5 and a house in the suburbs and as I start to get older I begin to wonder... Is that exactly the path I'm heading down?

I don't want mediocre. I want to eat too much pasta in Rome, go ice skating in central park, study ancient relics in Egypt, help rebuilt buildings and lives in Haiti, see a live band at the The Viper Room in Hollywood, catch a fashion show in Milan, pay respect at the battlefields and museums of ww11. I want to stay up all night discussing literature with someone who completely disagrees with me, make documentaries about the lives of people who's stories are more powerful than mine, stay on couches of kind strangers who don't speak any familiar language besides kindness. I want to go somewhere where I can still get lost and I don't already know someones cousin the first time I meet them.

You only get this one life, 100 years if your lucky, and we're young, so why does society make us think we want to buy a little piece of land so we can build ourselves a comfortable little box where we can close our eyes or switch the TV station any time we see something that makes us uncomfortable.

What if you didn't play by the rules? What if you dared to pursue what you really want, not what your parents want, or your partner wants, or the bills require you to do, but what you really wanted when you were still young enough to believe anything was possible.

Live that life. The rest can wait.

And the truth is, that if you go and follow your heart you will come back with so much more to offer to the people you left behind.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Just one more pair of shoes

I talk a lot of shit.
Read this blog and you would think I was the next mother Theressa. It is filled to the brim with my thoughts on saving the world, helping the lost find their way, handing out healing to the broken, speaking on behalf of the silent. But the truth is, I just talk a lot of shit.

It has been said that the devils greatest weapon is not to get us into any great evil but instead to keep us distracted. I know that personally I waist so much time, I focus so much energy on things that just don't matter. I can speak of wanting to do great things, write great books, change the planet, feed the hungry but it is all just words as long as I m too caught up stalking people on Facebook, drinking cider or tea with my friends and spending all my money on shoes.

I wish I knew exactly what had to change but the truth is I don't think it's something I can figure out with another night of self analyzing or trolling tumblr for just the right inspirational quote. I think the only real way any of this will change is when I start actually doing all the things I talk about doing. The unimportant will fade away as I spend time engrossed in the important.

You see, distractions only come when you are idol, when your life is lacking, when you feel lost. Once we start walking in the things we are truly passionate about, spending our time and money investing in things that are close to our heart then the trivial will make its way into the peripheral of our hearts where it was always meant to be.

The truth is that deep in my heart, under all the makeup and the shoes and the insecurities, I completely believe in the importance of every persons life. I am totally convinced that every persons voice deserves to be heard and every story is powerful. I believe that if every person lived being true to themselves and following their dreams the world would be a richer place. Every piece of my body aches to see people realise their potential and yet somewhere along the way I got lost.

I got scared, scared that if I offer the things that are deepest within me, the skills that are closest to my heart, the dreams that are uniquely mine, that they will not be enough, that I will find that there is nothing special about me and then I am left vulnerable for rejection. Not only rejection I can control, not a rejection of the exterior, but a rejection of the heart.

What if I offered everything that I had and the world rejected it?

Where do you go from there?

I'm tired of being afraid, I'm tired of settling for the status-quo, I'm tired of having so much in me and yet settling for less. The only thing standing between my life now and the life of my dreams is me and my stupid fear.

All I know is I don't want to stand in front of a child when I finally get my act together and have them ask me "why didn't you come sooner?"
And to have to reply with "I really wanted another pair of shoes."