Wednesday February 13th, 1985 1500 Eastern Australia Time
30 YEARS LATER!
Friday February 13th, 2015 1330 Western Australia Time
Last night I lay awake contemplating the last thirty years of my life, the things I have done, my losses and my gains and the paths of the many people I have crossed. I always felt I have wasted my life, procrastinating it slowly away. Always full of books, thoughts, dreams and letting my anxiety and panic disorder take over. Looking back, I have experienced quite a lot. I have traveled, tasted different cultures, been stranded on a tropical island, had many adventures with friends, fallen (a great deal of times), stood back up, fought for what I believe in, suffered great losses and had my heart absolutely shattered and torn apart.
I remember around my twenty-fifth birthday, feeling like I have learned so much in life, a conversation struck up between myself and a fifty year old women. She informed me that if she knew the things she knew now, at twenty-five…. actually if she knew the things she knew now, at thirty,….how different her life would be! I looked at her shattered! ‘There is still more to learn?’ I exclaimed and she laughed. How could I have been so foolish to think I understood the world at TWENTY-FIVE! I feel like slapping myself!
My experience; if I knew the things I know now when I was 25, or 27 or 29 or even six months ago, I would have done things completely different. No words could explain how different. Chalk and cheese, wet and dry, day and night, oil and water. But then, if we were somehow able to go back and re-do it, wouldn’t we learn new things and then want to re-do them again? It would be never ending.
Thirty lessons+advice I have learned in thirty years
(in no particular order)
1. Forgive and let go.
We have always heard this and seen quotes posted from the far corners of Facebook. Just as we need to practice a new skill to be a pro, or study to pass an exam, we need to practice forgiveness. We will experience many times in life when we just have to forgive and let go, because nothing can change the past (unless someone has a Delorean? No?) and even though you may feel that person doesn’t deserve to be forgiven, forgiveness is for the wise one.
2. Revenge is (SWEET?) best in life lived well.
Horrible managers, bitchy co-workers, two-faced friends and people who constantly post quotes about ‘true friends’ on Facebook when you know they are the worse bitchy gossip drama queens out!! UGH! Wouldn’t it be more satisfying to slash their wheels, take all the staples out of their stapler, fill their drawer with pond water and kidnap their cat??
“Years of love have been forgot, In the hatred of a minute.” ~Edgar Allan Poe
What wise words! We can’t be both full of love and kindness AND anger and resentment. Whoever is trying to bring you down, is already below you. Do you really want to be pulled down to their level? Anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. I read that not long ago and I will never forget it.
3. Forgive your parents.
No, I’m not repeating myself, this is an entirely different category to the one above. Put your hand up if you have some resentment, anger, malice, fury, outrage, wrath, grudge or fury towards one or both of your parents?
*fifty-thousand hands go up*
Just like you are a different person now and have grown, so have they. Maybe not in the same way, but they aren’t the same person they were while you were growing up. If you think they are, remember you’re not. I’m not a parent and it doesn’t look easy. Parents are as human as we are and if you can find it in your heart to see them as they are now and move forward, I’m sure you won’t regret it. If they were abusive growing up, you could also take steps to reach out to them. Find out why. You understand things better as an adult.
4. Keep in contact with your grandparents.
They lived in a completely different time and world but have amazing stories of those times they called ‘simpler’. We can learn so much from our grandparents and our great – grandparents. There were hard times and many world changes and you had to cope with what you had. Most of our grandmothers would have been strong women and their influence can be worth more then all this new and fast technology that we need to keep updating every three months. Ring them, write to them, if you live near them VISIT THEM! You wouldn’t be here without them and someday they will be gone.
5. Love and Kindness
Show love and kindness wherever you go. From the supermarket, to the street, to neighbors, family, friends and the line at the bank. Smile, be nice, say thank you and please, don’t grump, be polite, go out of your way for someone without expecting anything back. Give up your seat on the bus, don’t grump if someone bumps into you, be the first one to say sorry. You don’t know what other people are going through or the day or time they are having.
6. Love is stronger than hate (similar to above)
If someone barks at you on the street, pushes in front of you, bumps you or your manager is a tool just smile and be nice because the effect of kindness is stronger then that of hate. You may not see the affect, but it will be there. This video is so powerful. Watch it and you will understand x
Google to find volunteer programs in your area and search till you find one that interests you. You don’t have to volunteer doing something that will make you miserable. You can read to the elderly, take them out for lunch and talk to them, or you can do what I did a few years ago and that was volunteering at the Cat Haven. I was lucky enough to look after a whole pen of abandoned kittens. There are also youth and teen mother programs or even tutoring kids who might be struggling in a subject you are excelling in. There are also heaps of volunteer programs overseas and within your country. Google away!
8. Walking, cycle and public transport.
Drop your car keys (at home in the bowl, don’t lose them) and start walking places, get on your bike, catch the bus, train and my favorite at the moment…. the ferry! I have found many little back streets and alleys (SAFETY FIRST) and hidden shops and little markets and posters about events in my area which I would never have found if I drove everywhere in my car. It also slows you down and makes you stop to allow more time to do something and look at what is around you.
How was this not my number one?? The number one thing I indulge in every time I move is to find the five, yes five, nearest libraries and join them! You don’t have to be a book fanatic (or worm) to love a library. You can learn how to do things, cook things, travel information for your next holiday, how to fix something or if you are like me….. indulge in the passionate writings of William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe and Lemony Snicket. Walk in and just look around, You will be taken in.
10. Community Facilities
Like the library, your local community will be full of different facilities for you to use. The community gym and pool is cheaper then a fancy health club. The community gym and pool I’m a member of is cheaper, nicer, bigger, cleaner and has more equipment then most of the health clubs in my area. One shire I lived in gave out one big skip bin each year so you could do a big garden or house clean. You will find many free services including support groups. Google away…..
11. AFTER A BIG NIGHT OUT: TAKE OFF YOUR MAKE-UP AND BRUSH YOUR TEETH!
I don’t care how drunk you are. Take off your make-up, brush your teeth and drink a big glass of water before you fall ‘ya drunk ass’ into bed. You will thank me in the morning and in five – ten years.
12. EVERY NIGHT… TAKE YOUR MAKE-UP OFF!!
I don’t care how drunk, tired or bothered you are. Take off your make-up!!! If you are really bad for this, like if you are a student or a mother (which is my only two allowances) put a packet of wipes and moisturizing cream on your bedside table along with a bottle of water. You will notice the difference with a week or two AND again you will thank me in five – ten years.
13. Keep a good cleansing routine
Create a good skin cleansing routine and change it, all the time. You skin gets so used to products very quickly and will get used to the same routine.
14. Moisturize your body
I have not met one girl who has kept up with a body moisturizing plan and you don’t have to. When you remember, do it. When i remember, I moisturize with pure organic cold pressed coconut oil before i go to bed. It’s rich enough that if i don’t do it one night or two or even a week, it doesn’t matter. My skin is still soft.
15. Look after your hair and your teeth.
Don’t straighten and/or blow dry your hair every day. It will damage it and one day (like a few people I know who did it everyday for years) it will stop growing long. It will get to a certain point and won’t grow past that. Floss, brush, mouthwash. Drink through a straw and if your out, rinse your mouth and don’t forget regular dentist cleans. You can fix bad skin and dry hair and gross nails, but it is so much harder, time consuming, expensive and painful to fix bad teeth.
16. The right man
Oh if it was easy to find the ‘right man’, but there are some things you can do. Ask yourself, what am I looking for in a man? What qualities and attributes? If you are looking for a business man, then you need to look in that area. Are you working in business or can get invited to business events where you can network and meet people? A doctor? Volunteer at a hospital and network or volunteer at a medical school and find a budding doctor. Have lunch in the business district of the city with friend, Know a friend who works in your desired industry? Put yourself out there and mingle. Don’t meet a guy on a site like Scout or on a train or in a gross bar and then complain that they turned out to be flippin psycho. You don’t go looking for a rose in a swamp do you? I’m not excluding all men from public transport and gross bars, because some really beautiful flowers grow in swamps. Look where you want to find, have fun and just meet people..
17. Do not crash diet.
I have been through all different stupid diets, no brekky, no chocolate (what was I thinking??) no eating, water and fruit, throwing up. I was never teased about my weight in school but because I am quite short (5’3), any weight I did put on showed in my face and middle. LISTEN VERY CAREFULLY! Healthy food, plenty of water, exercise, moderation in sweets, love who you are (which takes practice) and a good mindset is all you need to get yourself a nice body. If you are having trouble with your weight, go to your doctor or see a nutritionist and get help so you can have long lasting results instead of hurting your body. These fluid, pill and powder diets are harming your body. I went to a doctor and got a very long list of bloods done and asked him to print it out, then went to a Clinical Nutritionist. I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), Insulin Resistant and have a high level of Testosterone that is floating around not connecting to anything. This is the reason I have so much trouble losing weight.
18. You will never look like your friend
My friend is tall, naturally skinny and has size A breasts. I am short, naturally curvy and have DD breasts. No matter how much weight i lose, unless i have cosmetic surgery, i will never look like her. I have big bones, she doesn’t. I’m petite and she is broad. Don’t compare yourself with her, use what you have. We always seem to want what we don’t have and will never have. I want her tallness and broad shoulders, she wants my curly hair and blue eyes. Spend less time worrying about what you don’t have and learn to love what you do have. You never know, it might be something someone else would love to have.
19. Don’t be a drunko
Okay so you got a little drunk at your best friends hen’s night, or your cousins wedding and act a little crazy and don’t remember that much. That, you can get away with and always makes great stories BUT and it’s a big BUT, don’t be one of those girls who says every Friday ‘I’m going to get smashed this weekend’ Just don’t! It’s not cool or fun and you are setting up your body for some serious damage. Do you really want to go out and take horrid photographs of you making out with some random guy, or giving the middle finger, or laying all over random people and being annoying? It’s gross and it’s not ‘creating moments’ or having a great night out. I remember in TAFE and at work girls excited about getting smashed on the weekend and ALL these girls had horrible skin and teeth. I’m going to sound like a parent now, consider how it would affect your life if you got pregnant? an STD? raped? or even kidnapped? Alcohol kills brain cells, how will you pass your exams and get a career and succeed in life? Do you want to be the skank who is standing in the Centerlink line with babies from different men with your tummy hanging out of your shirt while on your iPhone posting ‘attention seeking’ status on Facebook? No? Then don’t get smashed every weekend!
Yes, O! O for orgasm. Ladies, he doesn’t have to be the only one coming in the bedroom (or kitchen, or pool table…) Don’t say ‘But it’s still nice even if i don’t come’. Okay, but once you know how your body works and how to make it work for you will never mutter ‘But it’s still nice ….’ again. EVER! It took me a long time to know how to orgasm during sex and it will take practice. Google, read books, get toys, explore and find out what works for you. He won’t be complaining, a recent study showed that a high percentage of men really want their woman to have an orgasm and are concerned that there is something wrong with them if you don’t reach it.
21. Stand up for yourself
Whether it be with your boss, partner or friend, don’t be pushed around BUT don’t expect everything to be your way. Sometimes you have to compromise but make sure you are an integral part and you are happy with the final decision
22. Fake friends.
As hard as it may be, drop them. Let go. Indulge in people that inspire you and that will enrich your life.. Don’t get caught up in ‘fake-friend’ drama. You will come across friends who will say you mean the world to them, they love you and care about you and then overnight for no reason they will just cut you off and you don’t know why. When you ask they will say nothing is wrong. Reasons could include that they needed you at the time but don’t anymore or if they ditched you earlier, that it would have be awkward for them so they waited till the school year ended or they had officially left the company THEN cut you off. (See 24. Open or Close)
23. ‘Experienced’ younger ones
I made this mistake and the outcome hurt. I don’t care if they have been to more countries than you or if they have ‘parent issues’ or if they think they are wise because they have had three boyfriends already and understand everything because they know what it’s like to ‘feel down’. If they are 17/18 and you are 29, you are experienced by default and they are inexperienced. It’s like if someone has been in a business for 20 years with no ‘diploma’ and then someone turns up with a 4 year University degree and a 2 week internship under their belt thinking they are experienced and knowledgeable. Doesn’t mean we can’t learn things from the inexperienced.
Don’t except them to understand or be there for you when you are having adult problems, because they will think they can give guidance and wisdom but they have no idea.
24. Open or close
When dealing with a fake-friend or a friendship in trouble, take time away to think. Time past the hurt. Then, decide whether you will confront the friend about the issue (OPEN) or decide to leave it alone and walk away (CLOSE). If you do decide to open it up, go in trying to understand both sides of the story. Why did my friend start acting like that? Was it something I did or is this person going through a rough time? If you decide to close it, close it without hate and anger, so that if you were to see them in the street or at the shops you could just smile and wave or a quick ‘Hi, How are you?’ without wanting to poke their eyes out with a fork. More times then you will want to, you will have to accept that some people are users and that is their problem not yours. Be nice and be happy to rid them from your life.
Take every opportunity to learn. Your man won’t mow the lawn for the rent inspection, get out there and learn how to use the mower.(Don’t let him always get away with this but if he is ill or had a really bad day at work, get out there) Best friend stressing about studying and remembering for her Dentistry exam, study with her. Manager moved you to a different department, you go learn the ins and out of that department! Something needs fixing, learn how to do it. Recently my scooter died. It had been sitting in my garage for a few months and now wouldn’t turn on. After some reading, Googling the manual, talking to a few different mechanics and sitting out in the garage with a bunch of tools changing the battery and tweaking a few things, my scooter now works beautifully. I feel confident that I could help someone else with their scooter problems which I wouldn’t be able to do if I just gave it to a mechanic along with a few hundred dollars. If you are similar to me and like reading, read up on different subjects. I read about all the buildings here in my city of Perth, how tall they are, issues with construction, architecture plans, cost etc. Why, you ask? …. It doesn’t have to be on Architecture, this is an area that interests me. What interests you? Have you ever wondered how a huge plane takes off or how to grow a vegetable garden or build a veranda or how the weather works? Learning is really enjoyable once you find something that strikes your interest.
I love people watching, (not anything stalker-like) you can learn from watching people when you see things from a vantage point. For example: You might see a man who has a lot of shopping bags in his hands, he turns around and one of his shopping bags kind of slips from his hand. He goes to quickly grab it and elbows a lady standing nearby, he turns to her and starts to say sorry but she spins around and snarls some comment at him, turns her back holding on to her arm like he had stabbed her. His face is now soured and he is irritated, calls her a bitch and storms off to catch the bus with all his shopping. Because you have been sitting there ‘people watching’ you know that the woman had been fighting with someone on the phone and was very angry only moments earlier. The man had a lot of shopping to carry, it was a very hot day, he was hot and bothered and was having trouble carrying it all. After the two part ways, she sits on a bench and bursts into tears, ignoring her ringing phone as he is barges through the mall pushing past people.
What you don’t know is that the woman just walked out of her work because her manager has been bullying her for months and she couldn’t take it anymore. You don’t know that the man was going through a terrible divorce and his wife was being very unfair and cruel, she had taken the children and the car and was tearing strips off him for not feeding the children good food. He had to take two different buses and walk a long way to get shopping, but he loved his kids and was willing to put in to effort…. until a rude woman on the street snarled at him when he accidentally elbowed her.
The woman was so sick of being picked on and bullied that a light elbow in the side was the last thing she needed. ‘Why can’t people just leave me alone’ the woman thought.
What can we learn from this? This situation is just bad timing of two people going through a rough time. They didn’t know each others stories and backgrounds and they didn’t need too. Next time something happens to you, don’t take it personally but show kindness, compassion and love because it just might be what the other person needs. If you retaliate, you are adding something else to the heavy load you (and the other person) are already carrying.
My advice for when seeking advice is to really try and understand your situation and ask yourself these three questions; What is the problem? What would you like the outcome to be? What is stopping you? Then, after you have given your problem great thought, seek the advice of someone wise. If you don’t have a monk or wise old Chinese man on hand, seek out an experienced person in the area of concern. Is it a school problem? A teacher, career adviser or some schools offer free and confidential counseling through the school Psychologist. Relationship problem? Seek the advice of an older one who has been married many years. Financial problem? Seek the advice of a financial adviser or maybe you know someone is business who you could talk to. If you are close to your parents, grandparents and older siblings, they are also great to talk too. Even though we love our friends and they are great to talk to and for support and comfort, in my experience, it’s not always wise to take their advice. They are learning too. Put your company with the wise one and you will become wise.
26. Make friends anywhere and contact old friends.
Some of the friends I have made are from all different situations. The bakery outside my work, a delivery person, a taste tester in a shop, at an engagement party, an international pen-pal site. You don’t have to be best friends with everyone, but spread yourself around and get to know people.
‘We should catch up someday’ Sound familiar? Don’t wait for the other person to jump in but actually plan to catch up. At the end of the 2014, I purchased a bunch of coupon deals for a bunch of fun things. Horse riding, ballet tickets, life drawing class, kite surfing and a spa day. Then I contacted friends, old and new and planned something with each of them using the vouchers I purchased. I made a really nice friend with someone who I met at a party five years ago and we have been Facebook friends since then. I have never hung out with her before but invited her to the ballet and then to lunch a few days later. Then she invited me out this weekend. She is a really nice person and I’m happy that I asked her to the ballet.
27. You never know who will be there.
You will never know who will be there with a contact or networking opportunity. I once had a truck driver at my work who had contacts and advice for me when I was learning to fly Cessna’s. Another driver gave me a very expensive florescence coat from a company where he used to work and he had a mate there. Worried about me on my scooter at 4am in the morning, I used to wear a bunch of black coats because it was winter and it was FREEZING, he went and bought me a new florescence coat that I still have today. Through some volunteer work I did for Telethon, I got invited to a luncheon presentation where I got to mingle with some rich businessmen and Architects. Being the outgoing bubbly person I am, I joined in all the groups, stuck out my hand and introduced myself.
28. Too busy?
I recently was told ‘You must have lots of free time if you have time to read so much’. I’m not usually offended but I have been told this A LOT (or ‘I wish I had time to read’) and it’s beginning to quietly eat away at me, even though I just smile and shrug. In my opinion, you put in your life what you want and if you don’t have time for the things you love, there are things you can take out. I have a very busy life, with two jobs, school, helping my mum raise my seven-year old niece, vlogging on my YouTube channel and blogging on here. I make time for the things I love like watching endless hours of Seinfeld and Scrubs, having adventures and traveling but my indulgence…. reading. My house is full of books and yes I do read them. I also have a wonderful library on Audible. Remember, if you aren’t doing things you love, take things out of your life and replace them with the things you love.
29.Go with the flow. Sleep. Eat. Drink. Laugh. Love. Listen.
Go with the flow in life, that doesn’t mean be a follower, it means breathe and deal with things as they come to you. If your car breaks down, just calmly deal with it. If you wake up and you were already suppose to be at work, calmly deal with it. Miss the bus which makes you late, calmly call and explain that you will be late. Stranded on a tropical island, like I was, in humid heat and very little water, calmly deal with it. Things happen that we can’t control and you just have to deal with it. Sleep, please if you take one thing away from this…. sleep. Eat good home cooked food, drink a good scotch (or wine) with great people, laugh as much as you can, find the humor in everything, even in a horrible manager. Love, if you find someone that will hold you in his arms and you feel safe, cherish it. Be a great listener. No matter who it is, mailman, a checkout chick or a little old lady at the bus stop; make eye contact, listen and nod with understanding.
30. I left this one last: Give your heart freely, but trust no one!
Give as much as you can, but guard your heart, your head and don’t trust anyone to the point where you will be left with nothing. You never know when the people you have always completely trusted (parents, best friend, husband/wife etc) will suddenly drop you, cut you off or just plain abandon you. Don’t be left with not a leg to stand on.
I’m excited for the next ten years with all its lessons and adventures x