Friday 20 February 2015

Dead Like Me

I came across this show one day when my dad and brother were watching it in the lounge room. I'd never heard of it but I was curious and bored so I sat down with them and went through a few episodes.

Dead Like Me is about death, ultimately, but it's also about living. It features a group of people from various walks of life who have been chosen as grim reapers and are given daily reap quotas to meet. It's a satirical look at death and being a grim reaper, but it also focuses on how fleeting life really is and how in a moment, everything can really change before you have a chance to stop it.

The central character, Georgia (George) Lass was killed by a toilet which came catapulting down from the space station in a flaming ball of fire.

She was only 18 and left behind a semi-dysfunctional relationship with her mother, a sister who adored her and the rest of her life.

When people are chosen to be grim reapers, they return to earth and 'live' as normal people except for the fact that they're dead and their physical appearance differs from what they looked like when they were alive so as not to arouse suspicion.

As humorous as it is to watch the funny side of death, it also makes you stop and think about mortality. In each case that the reapers take the souls of the living, it's more often than not from some freak accident which could have been easily prevented if only something had changed moments or seconds earlier.

Although I haven't watched the show in a few years and just saw the movie a few days ago, I don't recall many, if any, episodes where the person about to die suffered from a long-term illness.

In the movie the deaths were caused by things like choking on what they thought was a lolly but was really just a rock, drowning, a car accident, and someone tripping over a life support cable which knocked it out.

Another part of reaping is the gremlins that 'assist' the reapers. You could easily see them as evil creatures for essentially instigating the death, but they're really only doing their job and it's that person's time to go.

No one likes death, even the reapers aren't very fond of their jobs, but they accept that it's a part of life and just get on with it.

As someone who has lost some people that I was very close to from a young age, I can understand, to some extent. It's one thing to accept that death is a part or rather the end of life, it's another thing to deal with it when it actually happens and personally affects you.

My paternal grandmother was the first person I lost. I was only 9 when she died from cancer which had spread too late to start treatment. I'd been told that when Jesus returned he'd raise her from the dead, but at 9 years old, I didn't care about waiting for however long it took for some guy from a religious book to bring her back, I wanted her back now.

It was too hard for me to comprehend that the woman who'd been a pillar of love and strength in my life for 9 years wasn't living and I would never see her again. I didn't care about the kingdom because it seemed so far away and despite what everyone told me, there was no guarantees about it. No one gave me a fixed date or time, it was always 'soon'. I wasn't good with the virtue of patience and this was definitely no exception.

When my maternal grandfather died 3 years later from old age it was a similar deal. Everyone told me he was a good and faithful man who lived his life doing what he loved and served God dutifully so there was no doubt he would be raised from the dead. Again, although I knew people meant well, it wasn't a great consolation to me. He was someone else I'd greatly admired and respected who I'd never see again.

As much pain and heartbreak as death brings with it, there's also a sense of relief especially if the deceased has been ill or elderly.

Before my maternal grandmother died a few years ago, we all knew she was frail and it was only a matter of time before she too passed on. I remember going to visit her at the nursing home she and my grandfather moved into when I was 8 or 9 and she remained until her death. Every time I'd visit her and she looked so frail I'd worry about her dying because I didn't want to lose another grandparent.

Over the years we got a few calls from the nursing home advising that she'd come down with a bad cough or something and as a health precaution they'd admitted her to hospital. When mum told me the news each time, I'd try to remain calm even though I started fearing the worst. Mum would tell me that grandma would be fine and it was just a precaution, but it didn't stop me getting upset.

When it was close to time, mum called me up at work one day clearly upset and told me the nurses had said they weren't sure if my grandmother would last the night so we all went to see her and say goodbye. But she did, just. I got a call on the way to work the next morning saying she'd passed around 8am. I was sad but relieved. The call I'd been dreading had finally come and I could begin grieving. The worst was over.

Looking back on my life I've lost more than I think I've gained, well if you don't count the past year or so. I've been to more funerals than I have to weddings and birthdays combined. I'm not sure whether that says more about my social life than it does the mortality rate in my close circle, but it definitely says something.

Something I think I'll always be grateful for is knowing what it's like to feel loss, the pain of losing a loved one and processing the emotions that come with it. When each of my grandparents passed, my parents didn't block off the pain or try to hide it from me. I went to every funeral and wake, I saw the coffins, paid my last respects whilst they were living and even saw my grandfather's lifeless body before his funeral. It was surreal and weird, like a Madame Tussauds exhibit. He was there, but he wasn't there. It was like you could reach out and touch him and his eyes would fly open, but you were too scared to do so and my parents would've told me to respect his body before I even got the chance to.

I was reading The Alchemist the other day and one of the things that struck me was something the alchemist himself told Santiago. He was talking about why people don't chase their Personal Legends and said it was for fear of not achieving it and what they'd lose by not having done so, as well as they life they'd leave behind in the search for it. I thought about my life and my dreams and realized that Having known so much loss at such a young age, I wasn't afraid of losing especially when I felt like it was more of a gain to pursue what I loved and felt passion for, rather that just sit around waiting to die like everyone else.

My grandfather brought a love of music to the family. All of mum's family were and still are musically inclined which is one of the greatest assets in life I think. He maintained a steady job as a jeweler for a few decades in order to provide for his family, but in the meantime he pursued his love of music and played the piano for anyone and everyone. If he was ever known for anything in his life, it was his piano skills that amazed, astounded and impressed all that heard. He had his cake and ate it too.

The biggest thing I've learnt from death and loss is not to take anything or anyone for granted. You really don't know how long you've got and living with regrets isn't a very happy thing to do.

In the words of the great J.K Rowling "Do not fear death, rather an unlived life". Otherwise, you're already dead like them.

Monday 16 February 2015

Dear Future Partner

Meghan Trainor's music is undeniably catchy and she definitely has a great voice, but I'm not so sure about the messages she's putting out there.

While I partially applauded her attitude towards fuller figure females in 'All About That Bass', I remembered a poetry slam video I saw a while back where one of the contestants did an open letter to Meghan Trainor where she said she thought it would have been a much more worthwhile lesson for her mother to teach her that she was perfect as she was, whether she was bringing booty back or saw herself as a 'skinny bitch'.

She had a point.

I'm all for supporting fuller figures given that I am one, but I don't think it should be done at the expense of demeaning the less than full figures out there. When it comes to the crunch, being a bitch isn't dependent on your size, it's dependent on your mentality and attitude.

In the song, she has lines which are size-equal such as 'Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top', and she brings to light the issue with photo-shopping which we're all aware of but so many of us still feel affected by, but the song still doesn't seem completely empowering, at least not to people with more treble than bass.

When I first heard 'Dear Future Husband' I knew it would be catchy as her other songs have been, but I also felt like it was essentially a list of demands she was making.

While it's great to have standards of what you will and won't accept, her list seems to be something akin to a high maintenance 1950's housewife.

Firstly, she's focusing on a heterosexual demographic by defining a male partner. Sure you can always appropriate it to your situation as we've all done at some point with other songs, but it doesn't really have the same effect.

The part that irks me the most whenever I hear the song in passing is 'If you wanna get that special lovin', tell me I'm beautiful each and every night'. As many demands as she places in the rest of the song, that particular line makes intimacy sound so cheap and easy. If you tell her what she wants to hear every night, you'll get lucky.

From a somewhat feminist perspective I don't think that would be a good enough reason to have sex with someone, regardless of what their part in my life is. Why does a woman need a man to tell her she's beautiful? To validate her beauty or self-worth?

She also demands to be taken on dates, given flowers every anniversary, she refuses to cook, he must apologize after every fight because she's never wrong, then there's the possibility of makeup sex. He must open doors for her and then she might kiss him, she wants a ring and to be treated right.

While everyone deserves to be treated right, that's probably the least demanding part of the song.

Sure, parts of it may be a joke, but if I were a guy interested in being with her, I would probably run a mile because it would be too exhausting to keep up with what she wanted from me.

Aside from the occasional physical forms of affection, what else is she putting into the relationship?

It's been a while since I've written a song, but I thought this would be a special occasion and great way to get back into it.

I've taken the liberty of re-writing the song to make it more universal and less demanding.

Dear future partner,
Here's a few things
You'll need to know if you want us to
Have a long and happy life (together)

Spend time with me, show me that you careAnd if we forget our anniversary, it'll still be fair
'Cause if we treat each other right
We'll have as close to perfect life
Giving each other exactly what we need

If we're both tired at the end of the day
We can just order in, it's okay
I know how to cook
But that's not what's got you hooked
Sit on the couch with me
Just hang out with me (hey)

All I want is to treat you the way you treat me
Even when everything is crazy
Let me know that it's going to be alright

Dear future partner,
Here's a few things you'll need to know if you want us to
Have a long and happy life (together)
Dear future partner,
If you want intimacy
Remind me why you fell in love with me

And if we ever fight
We'll talk it out and apologize
Because it doesn't really matter who was right
Even if I was wrong
Even if you were wrong
Why not just agree to disagree?

There's no need to bargain or plea.
All I want is to treat you like you treat me
Even when everything is crazy
Let me know that it's going to be alright

Dear future partner,
Here's a few things
You'll need to know if you want us to
Have a long and happy life (together)
Dear future partner,
Make time for me
Don't leave me lonely
Don't make me feel like I can't be free

I'll be sleeping on my side of the bed
Just be considerate and kind
Don't always have a dirty mind
Just be a decent human
Give as much as you get
And I'll do the same

All I want is to treat you the way you treat me
Even when everything is crazy

Let me know it'll be alright
Dear future partner,
Here's a few things
You'll need to know if you want us to

Have a long and happy life (together)Dear future partner,
If you want intimacy
Remind me why you fell in love with me

Future partner, love me like I love you.

*Credit to for the lyrics

Meghan Trainor - 'Dear Future Husband'

Friday 13 February 2015

What Is Life?!

Do you ever have those moments where you stop and ask yourself 'what am I doing with my life?'?

They usually happen after you see something epic and mind-changing that makes you rethink or re-evaluate what you've done so far with your life and where your heading. Or it's because you've seen/found/run into someone you used to know and can't help comparing your life to theirs, however unhealthy it is.

The whole time I was going through high school I felt like I was being left behind, forgotten, ignored. I convinced myself that it was more to do with chosen life path and what I'm meant to be doing with my life even if I don't feel like I've exactly found that yet. It's the closest and most comforting truth that I've found for myself.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog post or two, so many of the people I went to school with are settling down with a somewhat successful career. Meanwhile I'm working, studying and figuring out what the hell is going on with my non-existent love life. Not that it matters all that much...really.

I'm 25, I've never dated anyone although I have a consistent track record of unrequited loves which is thankfully lessening out now that I've created the best kind of life that I want for myself, and the more people I find out are either married or getting there, the less appealing I find the concept.

After discovering a little too late that a guy from school I'd never considered but knew I possibly could have had feelings for, got married, and more recently a guy that I used to work with and had strong feelings for got engaged to his long-term girlfriend, I'm really starting to feel bitter towards marriage. As stupid as it sounds.

I was discussing marriage with some friends of mine, all of whom have different ideas on it. One of them is engaged but is incredibly casual about it and believes as I'm inclined to also, that getting married in your early-mid 20's is so young. Another friend is incredibly happy in her relationship and said that she would quite easily get married tomorrow because she knows nothing would change. The third friend, or rather my cousin, considers settling down with kids in the suburbs her greatest nightmare.

As much as I feel disappointment and discontent over so many people getting married, part of me wonders where exactly my life is heading, what the overall plan is for it.

I started believing in fate when I was 16 and met some ridiculously awesome people. Everything that happened because of meeting those people didn't feel coincidental, it felt like it was meant to be, and so I let it be.

Whenever I've spoken to psychics and spiritual friends, or even done my own tarot cards, they've all told me I'm meant to be a spiritual teacher or healer. Given what I've been through in my life and where I'm at now, I'm kind of inclined to agree with them. I can't see what else would explain my particular life path. Although I can just hear my therapist's voice telling me that everyone's life is different and it's not as uncommon as I or anyone else thinks for people to endure so much whilst missing out on various opportunities only for things to work out completely differently for them.

Of course everyone likes to think they're special, that they have a unique purpose in the world, or in this life and they're not just bumming along for no good reason.

While I do consider myself incredibly blessed for some of the experiences I've had in my life so far, I also feel more than a little cursed and I'll even through 'let down' into the mix. I didn't get to be a normal teenager. I didn't get to out and a socialize unless it was with church people who I wasn't overly fond of. My suffocatingly overprotective parents (more so my father) wouldn't even dare to think of letting me date anyone which explains the continued stream of unrequited loves.

My life didn't start to feel anywhere near normal until I moved out of home. It was into an all-female share-house near the city and about an hour train ride from the place I'd spent my teen years.
Once I got my bearings sorted and realized that it was really and truly up to me to make life happen, I was up and running.

In an effort to shake off the growing feelings for a coworker, I threw myself into online dating and speed dating alike. A close friend of mine since childhood told me it was a good idea especially if I wasn't comfortable around guys in person as yet. So I tried them both out. After 3 or 4 rounds of speed dating I decided to leave it, I'd made decent friends with some of the girls who I sat with, but it seemed a little too desperate for my liking.

I did the online dating thing for a year and a half. I've made a really great friend through it which probably isn't the point, but I think it's what I was meant to get from it.

Towards the end of my subscription when I realized I wasn't getting that much out of it and the fact I was paying more than my phone bill for it, I decided to call it quits. I'd met up with a nice enough guy for coffee and realized just how unprepared for dating I was. He'd had at least one long-term relationship under his belt and I was still trying to feel comfortable in the presence of a guy.

I also rationalized that whatever I felt within myself wasn't really to do with having a guy or romance in my life. That empty feeling I had was all me, and when I looked at myself honestly, I knew that wouldn't change by bringing a guy or even a girl into the mix, I'd still be searching for whatever it was I didn't have.

I saw a post recently on Facebook which I shared because I thought it was important. It talked about how being single isn't a bad thing, especially when it means you're not compromising yourself for the sake of someone else. I posted a comment with it indicating how accurate it was from my perspective.

A friend of mine then tagged me in the same post which she shared on her profile saying how much she appreciated my wisdom and told me to never stop being me. That was the validation I needed for me to know that I'm doing something right and well with my life. Yes it still niggles at me a little when I hear what other people I know or used to know are doing and mentally compare myself to them even though I know it's stupid and pointless to do so, but I know by how I feel about myself and my life as well as the direction that I'm going that I'm onto the best thing there is for me to be doing.

If it was meant to be, it will be. I think that's what life is.

Tuesday 10 February 2015

Time To Say Goodbye

You know what it's like to hold onto something that has some kind of perceived value to you. Whether it's a person, a thing, a place, a song, whatever. It may not always be relevant to the stage of life that you're at, but it will always mean something significant to you.

One of the hardest thing I've found to do in life is to let go of something that feels important in order to allow myself to move on to infinitely bigger and better things. Every time I've struggled to do it, it's sucked, but the thing that comes in to replace it is almost always that much better than it.

I've held on to a lot of things over the years, some things I knew I shouldn't have, like false beliefs, negative thoughts, judgments, criticism, but I didn't know how to let them go. When I found people and things that made me feel better about who I really am, it was easy, well easier, to let go of the negative things that didn't serve me anymore.

Other things are nearly impossible to let go of, like memories, whether good, bad or in between. Sometimes you want to forget them, sometimes you want to relive them on repeat as if you can make them as real and tangible as they were when you first created them.

Given my mental state from a young age, I started writing in a diary every night around the time I was diagnosed with severe Scoliosis. I already had so much to deal with in my daily life that it was just something I would do anything not to think about. So I wrote. Nearly every single night (except for the times I was at camp or a sleepover).

I wrote about everything that had happened that day, the things that bugged me, the things that I loved and the things that I didn't know how to make sense of and hoped on some level that one day they would all make sense and I wouldn't have to worry about them anymore.

I grew up in a home that was filled with more pain, heartache and emptiness than I ever thought it would be possible to feel. The thing was, no one ever talked about it. No one ever acknowledged it, so as far as we were all concerned, there was a gigantic elephant of emotions in the house, but ignoring it was the only way to deal with it. So we did.

When I started writing it was because I had too much going on and a very limited number of trustworthy confidants at my disposal. I felt like if I didn't write things down, my head and heart would explode from everything I was thinking and feeling. I'm a very sensitive person you see, and I didn't get out much thanks to my overprotective parents, so between my parents less than healthy influence and my raging thought processes, I was in the greatest place emotionally or mentally for a really long time.

It's been something like 12 years since I first started writing a diary, I still do it til this day and it's become such a part of my daily routine that it feels amiss when I don't write.

With time, insight and excellent psychological help, I've been able to gradually let go of the things that hurt me over the years. The people that inflicted the pain I've either cut out of my life or found a way to move past it and find peace from it.

Letting go of thoughts and beliefs isn't easy when they've been drummed into you from a very young age and you don't know any differently. But it is possible, providing of course that you're actually ready to do so.

My religious beliefs changing was a fair bit of a struggle, but when I saw outside the suffocating bubble that I lived in and realized that everything I'd been told wasn't as it actually was, it made it a little bit easier over time to decide what was right and wrong for me and then let go.

My personal beliefs about myself is still a work in progress, but it's made all the difference having a great support network and finally being able to do the things that I love without being judged or criticized for even wanting to do them.

I think the hardest thing is to let go of people. It's heartbreaking to say goodbye to someone who's made such an impact in your life, even if you know that their time in your life or at least that particular part has come to an end.

One of my biggest problems has been that I hold on too tightly to people who've made some kind of dent in my life. They no longer serve me or the direction my life is heading in, but it's incredibly hard to let go of something that's comforting and familiar.

It's like when you have a breakup and you hold onto hope that one day you'll reconcile with that person and things will go back to how they were. But it's never the same and trying to make it work just makes things worse.

A few years ago I went on a Facebook friend cull as many people do over time. I deleted people that I rarely talked to or that just weren't relevant to my life anymore. It stopped being about quantity and became about quality. If they didn't have my best interests at heart, there was no point keeping them in the loop.

I realized after I'd deleted a couple of people just how significant they were to my life and regretted it immediately. I re-added them and waited several weeks to see if they'd accept me back into their life. I knew it was kinda stupid. There was a reason I'd deleted them in the first place and why they weren't part of my life at present.

I randomly checked on one of them the other day to find that they'd deleted my friend request. It hurt a little, that sting of rejection, but I'm choosing to see it as a good thing instead. It's nothing against me, rather a favor to me, a nudge in the right direction, to move on. If they had accepted me I'd spend way too much time obsessing about them and their life now and reminiscing about the way things had been. Our lives have gone in completely different directions and for the most part I'd say that we're all happy about it. Looking to the past as a distant memory is one thing, but focusing on it and wishing you could go back and do it all again is only a hindrance to the awesomeness of what lies ahead.

While the actual saying goodbye part is hard and takes time to do, I still have the memories of what was and those are some things I'll never have to say goodbye to.

The Marilyn Effect: Awakening The Succubus Within

(Photo credit Google images)

I was never a huge fan of Marilyn Monroe, although I was curious about her legacy and what made her, her.

From memory, I was randomly searching people on Wikipedia out of boredom and read through her page and was fascinated by her and the life she'd lead.

She was absolutely gorgeous, naturally, but knowing how her life started out and how troubled it was, I felt a connection to her. She created a persona for herself which had the world enthralled, but I think it was ultimately to cover up the fact that she wanted so desperately to be loved and have a real family, but didn't know how to make that happen in a world where people paid for everything, including love.

I started collecting memorabilia of hers, mostly just small postcard sized posters which now cover most of my bedroom door. I've noticed that the resemblance my dad's sister and late mother bare to her is quite remarkable, well at least I think so.

I've yet to read the life story of hers as published by Donald Spoto, but am fascinated to learn more about her. Her life, her loves, her passions, and basically how she did the Marilyn thing which still captivates millions worldwide.

(Photo credit Google images)

I recently started watching the series Lost Girl which is centered around the story of Bo, a succubus who grew up in a foster family completely unaware of what or who she was, and after sucking the life force out of her boyfriend, ran away from home leaving a trail of bodies in her wake in order to feed her insatiable hunger.

(Photo credit to

Not only is she described as incredibly attractive, but she has the ability to make any man want her...before she sucks the life out of him, literally.

Kinda sounds familiar, huh?!

Not that I'm implying that Marilyn was capable of doing such a thing, she isn't exactly a mythical creature (that we know of), but she was just as confused and uncertain of herself and her life as Bo is, until she finds people that know her back story and fill her in as needed.

The biggest thing I've gained from reading/observing the 'Marilyn effect' as well as religiously watching Lost Girl, is the message of empowerment, but also of male mental slavery. Knowing that with just a look or a touch you can make any man (or woman) not just fall for you, but essentially become your slave.

I know it's sounding very dominating female and power hungry kind of thing, but considering the background I came from where I felt almost ashamed for having womanly attributes and so went out of my way to cover them up, it's an incredibly liberating thing for me.

But, as they say, 'with great power comes great responsibility' although they don't mention the loneliness which is part of the package deal too. Marilyn had many lovers and husbands alike, yet none of them could give her what she truly wanted. Bo loses the love of the one man that means the most to her when he sacrifices it in order to save her from her homicidal mother. In one of the last episodes I watched, she tells her sidekick Kenzi after unsuccessfully attempting to woo her man back, "I can make any man want me, but I can't make one man love me".

Similarly, Marilyn knew she could make any man want her, and very many did, but with that came insecurity in not knowing whether they wanted her for her, or whether they wanted her because she was Marilyn Monroe, the supermegasexystar.

I think so much of Marilyn's power came from not only having a great full figure, but her waif-like innocence which gave her a 'dumb blonde' persona, however mistaken it really was. She wanted to be loved and feel secure in that love, so she sought out people who could or at least she thought could give her that, but she also loved being adored by people and reveling in her feminine power as is shown in the plethora of photos of her.

There are many lessons to be learnt from both Marilyn and Bo, about going after what you really want, no matter how simple or basic it is and just really enjoying who you are. Being happy and confident in your own skin, awakening the succubus within.

(Photo credit to

Thursday 5 February 2015

Never Settle For Less Than Special

My parents have always been traditional in their husband/wife duties. Dad would go to work, mum would stay home and keep the house tidy or whatever, then dote on my brother and I when we eventually came along.

By society's standards they got started late in life. They were both in their late 20's when they got married and early 30's when I was born. Most people had settled down in their early-mid 20's and already had a kid or two under their belt by then.

For me, the whole notion of finding a stable job, a nice husband and creating a family together wasn't all that appealing.

Mum has always been a dedicated housewife and mother. On the occasions where I'd help her clean up, she'd compliment me by saying I'd make a good housewife one day. It wasn't the most inspiring thing to be told.

Although I've been dreaming about getting married and what my wedding would be like, since I was about 11, life has changed significantly since then and the whole idea of getting married now scares me a little.

I wanted to get married and have kids as early as a possibly could, but that was more to do with my love for children and the whole fairy-tale of the wedding, rather than the reality of marriage and the level of commitment it really requires.

As I grew up and witnessed my parents marriage, I liked the idea of it less and less. I could convince myself quite easily that my story would be different, but from what I'd seen, heard and read, most marriages turn out like the parents marriages before then. Ultimately, things change as people change.

After I moved out of home, my dad started confiding in me more about what marriage was like in the years before my brother and I came along. The biggest impression I got from him is that marriage changes everything. It's a whole new set of rules that you need to play by and takes a lot of effort to maintain it.

In discussions with my boss, he said a similar thing to me as to why his marriage didn't work out, although he and his ex-wife are quite good friends if only for the sake of their daughter.

Looking back to the person I was in high school compared to the person I am now, there is a tremendous difference! I wondered about all the people I'd grown up with and gone to school with who had mostly all settled down with a few kids now. While I still hope to do that one day, it's not really something I ever fully aspired to.

I was talking to a friend of mine from a youth arts group that I volunteer with for the first quarter of the year. She was telling me about a reunion she had with some of the girls she went to school with and that out of about 40 people invited, all except for her and maybe 2 or 3 others were married with kids. She's about 10 years older than me and someone who I've personally come to look up to, not just because she's a completely awesome person. She knows who she is, what she likes and what she doesn't, she also knows what she's willing to take from others and what she just won't allow. Granted that's something that presumably comes with age and life experience, but she does it with such artistic flair it's hard not to be impressed.

I got to telling her about some of the extremely hard times I had back in high school and how I'd found the idea of just settling down and having kids not something I was ready for until I was in my 30's at this stage. She told me that anyone can settle down and have kids, there's not really much to it, but because I'm a creative person, I need a lot more from life and that kind of life just wouldn't cut it for me.

I let her words sit with me for a while and thought back to all the people I'd gone to school with, everyone who was excited about going to church camps, meeting cute guys and whatever else. None of that really mattered to me when I was younger and still doesn't really. My concerns lay with music, pop-culture, being a super-fabulous person and pursuing every dream I could possibly conceive, any less just wouldn't work for me.

One of my teachers from high school who I have a mother-daughter relationship with always tells me whenever I see her how well I've done for myself. I have a successful and incredibly flexible part-time job, I'm a uni student (despite how badly I did in school), I share a lovely unit in a great area with my cousin, I have an ever-improving relationship with my family, I'm writing my first book and I'm just happy in general. Being single and childless is a non-issue for me.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not slamming people who have settled down with kids and genuinely enjoy it. It works for some people and that's awesome, I just couldn't see myself picking a guy who seems like a decent life partner and deciding that's it for me. I couldn't imagine anything more boring that the life my mother leads, even though she's convinced that she enjoys it.

For me, special is finding someone who complements you as a person, doesn't hinder you or your ambitions, that appreciates and loves (or is in love with) you for who you are. They allow you to maintain your independence whilst always being there to support and uplift you, and vice versa. I could never be just a housewife with a 9-5 job, nor could I just settle for someone because I wasn't getting any younger and society decided it was time to start a family even if I'm not ready.

Don't let anyone or anything tell you what's right for you. Find your special and never settle for anything less!  


I was one of many, many girls around the world that LOVED collecting Barbies when I was younger. They were so pretty, had great outfits and you were only limited by your imagination when it came to play time.

As is always the case, they spawned a variety of other dolls which now smother the walls of nearly every toy section. Each new variety of dolls would possess the same, or similar attributes, but their 'theme' would always differ slightly, obviously because they'd be breaching copyright otherwise and it'd just get boring.

I always enjoyed watching the movies that were Barbie-related as well, but eventually stop playing with them after I hit high school and dad setup a computer for me to do the increasing number of assignments I was getting.

After that, I mentally mocked every time I knew Barbie came out. I realized how commercialized it all was and that the dolls weren't really teaching girls anything helpful. Sort of like the episode of The Simpsons where Lisa gets the Malibu Stacy doll and she says messages about making boys like them.

The more I thought about it, the more I felt like Barbies were the miniature plastic version of the bitchy high school girls from all the American TV shows and movies I'd ever seen. It was all about looking pretty and buying friends, as was similarly the case when I played Barbies with some of my friends.

At between $20-50 per doll, plus accessories, the costs quickly add up. When you grow up in a household where money doesn't exactly flow freely, it becomes an expensive pastime.

When the Bratz dolls came out, they piqued my interest for a moment, then I lumped them into the 'trying to win a girls' affection' box and proceeded to ignore them.

When the movie came out, I found myself a little more interested, more so because the premise was different to any other Barbie movie I'd ever seen. Bratz dolls have character and personality. They're not just there to look pretty and suit a particular theme. That was a refreshing change.

I went to see the movie with a friend of mine who was as intrigued by the storyline as I was. Admittedly the music was a strong calling card for me too.

I love not just that the girls/dolls have a relateable back story, but at their very hearts, they're about friendship and encouraging each other's passions no matter how different they are.

Cloe loves soccer and comes from a single parent family, Yazmin loves music and has a hispanic background (if I paid attention to the movie correctly), Jade loves Science as much as she loves creating her own fashionista style although she hides it from her conservative parents, and Sasha loves cheerleading and is an only child from divorced parents.

In the movie they are torn apart by their differing interests despite their insistence to remain best friends and it does affect their friendship until they end up in detention and realize how much they missed each other.

I'm not the biggest fan of the dolls, or really any Barbie-type dolls anymore. Not just because I'm in my mid-20's (not that age should ever truly define playtime), but because of how fake they all seem. Sure dolls aren't really meant to be realistic, but when they have such back stories that are relateable, you don't want to look at a doll with an overdone face and disproportionate features and use that as a measuring tool for who you are.

While the term 'brat' usually has a negative connotation, I think in this case it could be the most positive and encouraging one, especially for the target audience for the dolls. It encourages girls to enjoy being girls first and foremost, but also to celebrate their uniqueness and not let anyone else define who or what they are.

I also really loved the soundtrack for the movie. A lot of the songs were fun and upbeat as you'd expect, but they were also about taking a chance and following your dreams which I think is one of the most important things a young and impressionable girl can learn.

One of the best things about the Bratz dolls series is the 'Rock Angelz' album that was released a few years into their creation. There's cute 'I have a crush on this guy' kinda songs, but there's also a lot of strong and empowering songs about making your own luck and doing your own thing. 'Nobody's Girl' is one such song which basically says 'I'm with you because I like you, you don't own me and you can't stop me from doing the things I want to do'.

I think so many girls in the world could really benefit from having a little Brattitude!

"I'm going places, I've got ambitions, thank-you but I don't need your permission!"

Monday 2 February 2015

Putting The Past Behind You

Okay, so I know it's kind of hypocritical for me to be saying to let go of the past so it doesn't affect your future given how much I write about my own, but in my defense, I had far too much going on to deal with when I was younger, so now I don't really have a choice but to look back and resolve everything in order to move forward. So I guess it's kind of different.

When I say let go of the past, I mean to stop holding onto things that don't serve you or the life you have now.

I think about artists' like Eminem who have forged a career on anger, angst and underlying hurt at the things which have happened to him throughout his life which really just isn't fair, but hey it's afforded him a pretty epic music career.

I find myself relating to songs like 'Sing For The Moment', 'Lose Yourself', and just enjoying the lyrical stylings of 'Without Me'. But I wonder, those songs made sense to me 10 years ago, and still kind of do now, but not as much. How much hate and resentment can someone hold onto? How long can they hold onto it for? It just doesn't seem healthy.

From my understanding of Eminem's background, his dad left when he was young and his mum struggled to provide for him and his sister. They grew up in a pretty bad area with high crime rates and gang violence. It makes sense that his music reflects his anger at the injustice of his upbringing, but it's 20 years or so later, surely he's gotten it out of his system now, dealt with everything that happened and been able to make things right for his kids?!

It makes me sad to see how much crap people hold on to and how it destroys their lives. At the same time, it makes me sad to see how much negativity people have held onto. When they were told they would never amount to something, so they believed it and hate the life they've got now.

I think people are always looking for an outlet, someone to blame. Many refuse to acknowledge their part in a misunderstanding or a deep hurt, others hold onto their guilt forever when the occurrence wasn't even their fault but they've either convinced themselves, or been convinced that it was.

I've learnt through a great deal of self-reflection and years of therapy that of all the things I went through, only a miniscule portion of it, if that, was actually anything to do with me, the rest was me just being a victim of circumstance. Whatever ills I've done I've taken responsibility for and been thankful that no lasting damaged was caused by them. More often than not it was such a simple and forgivable offence that the person I did it to had either forgotten about it or rarely spent a thought on it.

For far too long I blamed my parents for everything that had gone wrong in my life. It was always their fault when this, that or another thing had happened and I resented them for it. After years of getting nowhere fast and not being able to do anything about changing the past, I realized that the best thing I could do is stop blaming them and giving myself more excuses not to move on with my life.

I accepted, as incredibly hard as it was, that mum had an illness which made her say and do things which she otherwise wouldn't do. No one asked for her to be that way, but she still was. She still had the capacity to love me and everyone else to the best of her ability, and she showed that in whatever ways she could, that's all that really matters in the end.

I stopped being angry and upset at my dad for not being able to tell me he was proud of me, for sheltering me and overprotecting me to the point where I felt suffocated. I realized that he'd already been through hell in his life and was ultimately just trying to do everything he could to protect me, even if it didn't work out exactly as he planned it. I'm grateful to him for allowing me the freedom to be the person that I am and never trying to stop me from being that way. He may not be able to say the things that I want him to, but I know he shows it in his own way, that's what really matters.

During my last therapy session when I brought up all my feelings from a previous post so she could understand my thought process and exactly what I was feeling, I mentioned that my brother had dropped by for a visit and I'd asked him about people I'd gone to school with since he still saw a few of them on occasion at church events. For the most part everyone had grown up, married off and they were doing pretty well for themselves. I thought of all the things I wanted to do, or say to the people who I felt hurt by or that I wanted to prove myself too, it started to hit me. As much as I'd grown up and come out of my shell, so had they. I don't know of many people that don't change after high school, whether for better or worse.

I wondered if I ever ran into those people again, what would be the same and what would be different. Would they remember things that I couldn't or didn't want to forget? Would it all still matter? I thought about it from the perspective of the guy from high school that got away. All grown up and married now, would the past just be a feint memory to him or would he have an equally fond recollection of events? My therapist told me it would be more detrimental than helpful to make contact with him, I told her I knew it and wasn't considering going out of my way to do so. She told me if I did try, he would probably even resent me for doing so, bringing up the past and letting it interfere with the present when it has no place. The more I thought about it, the more pathetic I kind of felt about it and realized how much of a bad idea it really would be to take action. It was fair enough that I was holding onto things until I had fully processed them and let them go, but it wasn't fair for me to put that on to someone else.

Healing from the past and accepting it for what it was is a hard thing to do and does take time, but it's a necessary part of the present and definitely the future.

For me, I wrote in diaries from the age of 13 because I had no one else to turn to and there was just too much for me to deal with at such a young age. It's kind of like a mental storage box or memories that have been put onto paper. I'm grateful to myself for having done it because without that I wouldn't be able to look back and see all the things I missed before. I wouldn't be able to appreciate my own journey as well as all the things I've come to learn through time.

Holding onto the past is letting me change my future and make it whatever I want it to. By writing a book on how hard life really can be for some people, I'm helping myself first and foremost, but I'm also helping anyone and everyone who reads it to know what it's like to live someone else's life and also to know that if they've experienced at least one thing that I have, they're not alone, just like I always felt like I was.

Putting the past behind you is the best thing you can do for yourself when it no longer serves you.

(Photo credit to