Monday, May 28, 2012

Dream HUGE


A few years ago, when I first got it into my mind to learn the French language, I was asked why I should bother. After all, I live in Australia, have never travelled anywhere particularly exotic, or even knew anyone who spoke more than a few words of the language.

And I found this insulting. Why should I learn? Why should I not you mean! I am a very big believer in doing something simply because you can. I am currently teaching myself the guitar, and four languages, as well as studying psychology, just for the sake of it. Chances are I will never be too fabulous at any of these skills, but the point is that I am making an active decision regularly to hone these skills, for no other purpose than my own fulfilment.

I think this speaks volumes for the human spirit. We have this intense thirst for knowledge and to become more than a physical being yet in this age of such vast digital technology it does feel a lot like the need to acquire skills is unnecessary as you can simply pay for it to be done or cheat our way through till the end. We have lost the thrill of reaching unthinkable milestones.

I urge you; please, go learn something! Learn the drums and rock the shit out of the songs of your teen years. Learn to sew and create something mind-blowing. Paint a picture using your hands because the paint feels cool that way. JUST DO SOMETHING. Do it because life is short and we all have an expiry date which sadly isn't far off. You need to utilise each and every moment and to be the biggest and most incredible person you simply can be. You owe yourself that much, because you are amazing :)

Je suis Melissa, vous sera mon ami?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tall Poppies


I was listening to Triple J on the way home from work on Friday and they were discussing the notion of Tall Poppy Syndrome. This is the idea that people who have genuinely earnt their successes, talents or achievements are being ridiculed, resented or cut down by their peers. It occurred to me that yes, this is definitely something I see living in Australia. By saying that, I am not trying to generalise, but having lived here my whole life I am unable to compare it with another country.

Much like most of the topics they cover on Hack, this one has stayed with me long after I turned the radio off. I feel a lot like it has really changed my approach to the achievements of others. I feel like of all the people I know, there is this blank canvas of who they are as an individual then there is the job title of how it is they make a living. But that is it really. I don't feel that anyone has ever told me how they got to be a small business owner or how it is they managed to become a working mum.

I have been writing for years and every day is a struggle to get my ass into gear. But I know I am only still in the beginning days and that I have success to come, yet I have poured so much of myself into this pending career of mine. And others are there already and I don't feel I have applauded them for their efforts yet. Maybe we undervalue what we can achieve in a lifetime. Maybe by undervaluing the small achievements we are cutting the opportunity for the larger achievements to happen.

Maybe we are too humble in our successes? When I graduated from high school five years ago, I wondered what I would have achieved by 22 (here I am) and to be perfectly honest, I had no idea what was next. I did imagine lawyers and doctors and pilots however. But looking at the people I went to school with now, I see that many of them are married and have children and have bought homes for themselves. This may sound like the basic A to B of life but when you actually step back and think about each step... damn that is impressive. They say parenting is the hardest job in the world.

My best friend is about to become a nurse. To many that sounds like just a job, but she is saving lives every day. She is doing the unthinkable and the impossible and she has worked so incredibly hard for years to get to this stage without ever saying "hey look at me". My boyfriend is about 30 hours from receiving his Commercial Pilots License. He has been working towards this for a good while before we even met. Yet he doesn't tell people what he is about to achieve; he doesn't want people to think differently of him.

In writing this, I hope you too start to notice the achievements of others, and of course yourself. Treasure them. We work hard to change the world, or even just our internal world so please never forget what you are trying to achieve. Keep on keeping on; we are here to back you up :)

{Image: Unknown} - will find credit.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Blind spots


I think we all have these blinds spots. These pieces of us which we hide or maybe aren't aware of. Maybe we know very well that they are there but hope desperately that others won't notice them. These little parts of us that are maybe undesirable to others, or maybe to ourselves; or maybe it is just a quality we aren't proud of.

My blind spot is my anger. I am generally quite misanthropic of this world. It upsets me greatly that I see the world is such a dull spectre but I can't seem to get past it. I do however, hide it very well. I read a LOT of articles and books on finding my bliss, finding peace; just generally on how to chill. Or I listen to relaxing music. Or I volunteer. I try incredibly hard to find the good in as many people as I can. I am in love with a very respectful man and he also has a great impact on me trying to be a better person.

The other day I got in a fight with this cyclist. He was riding on the road on a bridge and the footpath was not a metre away yet he rode on the road. I could have crashed my car. So I honked. Later he found me and we abused one another. I am not proud of this. I have spent three whole days running through the scenario in my mind and it upsets me greatly. It has been eating at me. Firstly that I was spoken to in such a matter, secondly that I spoke back in that manner and thirdly, because I believe that at my core I am a better person than I display myself to be at times.

What I have taken away from this horrible moment is that we are human and we do things which don't warrant pride, however how we respond to these situations and what we take from the experience is what makes us inherently good or bad. I would like to say that I am an individual who is always composed and honourable but this would be a lie. I say stupid things; I fight with the ones I love; I cause grief when I shouldn't and I start things just to start things sometimes. But I am loyal. I love deeply and unconditionally and give me a reason to trust you and I will follow you through anything. 

People are generally good. I tell myself this everyday. If only you let yourself open up every now and then, you will see. People care. We are social creatures.We don't want to be alone in this world. I think that if we can simply push past the flaws we will all be a lot happier.

{Image Credit}

Sunday, May 6, 2012

On passing judgement


I am reading this book at the moment called 'The Me Myth" by Andrew Griffiths. He writes about not judging people for who you see them to be materialistically. This is a hard concept in today's society. It seems every time we turn on out TV we are asked to judge people on their singing or cooking; open a magazine and we are asked to judge celebrities on their clothing. How did it become so easy for us to judge?

For a long time I have judged people. I am short tempered, assume without knowledge and I give few second chances; but I am changing. I have found that if we are to judge people, we lose sight of who they are in their mind, in their soul and in their heart. We lose the ability to get to know this person as an individual.

Last night I helped my Mum cater for her colleagues birthday party. She is not a cater; nor am I but she agreed to anyway as she is a chef at her work (a retirement village). She is an important woman to me and to many others as well. However, the first part of the evening, I could see in her face that she felt she was looked down on for being "hired help". These were wealthy people and this wasn't exactly our crowd. We put on smiles and sucked it up counting down till we could high tail it home.

However, something strange happened. As I am sure you are already aware, I am a vegan. The part of veganism that is less documented is that it is desperately hard to find finger food edible at parties, or even restaurants that will cater to our needs. When I found a guest was a coeliac I set about to make sure she had something to eat. She was very grateful for this and I saw an individual in her. The room was less 'judging' in how I had assumed people saw me. 

At the end of the night many people came up and thanked us for our help. They seemed genuinely thankful and we got chatting to a few people. There was a man who worked a block from me and was very lovely; a woman who worked with elderly war heroes keeping them mobile. Genuinely nice people with good souls. 

What I am trying to say is that if we judge others, we immediately decide if a person is 'good enough'. Good enough for what I am not sure. But what I do know is that people are inherently good if only you allow them to show themselves.

"It is easy to judge and to put someone in a pigeonhole. But it is spectacular to have an open mind and to accept and welcome other people for who and what they are. It is hard at first, but give it time and it will become second nature."