Most nights I like to sit in bed and read random blogs. The whole blogging experience has been fantastic. It has made me feel connected to the world in a way I haven’t really been connected before, somewhat anonymously but connected by experiences. From my little flick through the bloggersphere tonight I have noticed that the bitching about Valentine’s Day has already begun.
I have to admit, I have been ‘lucky’ and had very little ‘Single Awareness Day’s’ and many Valentine’s Days. Since the age of 14 I have only had one valentine’s day as a single women(by the Valentine’s Day rolls around I will be 23) which I realise makes me sound like a serial dater. But it is a little deceiving with one relationship just starting a couple of days before Valentine’s Day, one just lasting the month of February and one only ending a couple of days after the rose petals had died.
But after realising my somewhat good luck with being attached (except for the conclusions of each passing relationship), this is my Valentine’s Day not to worry about men or relationships and a day of being happy about being single, unattached with hope and optimism for future things to come in this department, but only after I have done some things for myself first. Despite my usually being attached on this day, I actually find the whole concept a bit ridiculous, but each to their own.
So Happy Insipid Valentine’s Day to everyone, whether they are single or attached.
I did always like getting Gerbras more than Roses.
So now that it’s the New Year. It’s time to get productive. Today I completed the first and very simple task I set myself. It was something I thought would be somewhat emotional to do. Turns out it was just as simple emotionally as it was physically.
I have a corkboard in my room. It was filled with postcards and letters written to me from my ex boyfriend. They were mostly postcards from when he was abroad and we were apart and since then was a growing collection of concert and movie stubs and other things that reminded me of him. There was one photo of me with my friends.
I find the whole corkboard comparison a bit symbolic actually. He had one in his room to. It was mostly empty. It had a few 21st invites from over 2 years ago on it as well as a couple of photos of some of his friends and it had 2 movie stubs from some of our first dates from way back before we were even together. I find it kind of ironic actually and a really symbolic representation of our relationship. I had a whole board dedicated to him, a shrine dedicated to him if you will. Whilst he had a couple of snipets of me. I think that represents our relationship so simply and honestly. It shows just how much of a large chunk of my life he took up, whilst I was only a very small part of his.
The minute I came into my room for the first time after the break up, the first thing I did was rip it off the wall and put it facing the wall of my closet, hidden behind all my crap. But the wall has always looked a bit blank without it.
Being 2012, and feeling really healed after this whole horrible break up and surviving out the other side, it was time today to take out that board, clear it (except for that one photo of my friends) and put it back up. Now it is on my wall, clean and blank and ready to start a new year, much like my life. It will now become a shrine to my new life that is all about my own individual hopes, passions and dreams. All about things I have achieved and things I hope to do.
Happy New Year Everyone!
Ok, so I don’t mean to sound negative about New Years Eve. I like New Years and the symbolic meanings behind it. But what I don’t like is SOCIAL PRESSURE. I can’t talk and put myself high and mighty like I am above it. I was taking about back in November organising what I was going to do for it. I was meant to be overseas during this time and possibly working and I was relieved to be away from the usual pressure of it. I think this was one of the reasons I actually wanted to go. Avoid this time of year and all the stuff.
So I made my New Years Eve plans and was actually quite excited for them. This was my first mistake. They seem to have gone out the window and with 24 and a half hours until the clock strikes midnight and we welcome the year 2012 and I have nothing to do. Well thats not technically true. I have some closes disorganised friends to do nothing with, as well as 2 parties, one in a different town and one that unfortunately the 2 close friends don’t get on with the party host (well not really) so that is kind of not an option.
As always I am stuck in the middle and blah and I just think. Damn you NYE. Damn the fact that you are the same as any other bloody night and any other night this happens I think ‘eh I will watch a movie’ so why does when this happens on this night, I think ‘omg my life is over and it will be a shit year’ wow talk about a drama queen.
But I am sure New Year’s Eve will all magically work out fine, as like it does in the movies, because everything that happens in the movies happens in real life right?
Over the last few days, I have started to realise how wonderful Christmas really is. Family, friends, parties, presents and lots and lots of food. Food, glorious food. It wasn’t so long ago that I was dreading christmas for 2 different reasons. Firstly I was dreading christmas because it was going to be the first christmas away from my family. I was scared it wouldn’t feel right, but I was more scared that I would just be miserable. I decided that I was going to spend Christmas at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen. I was meant to be in Park City Utah with my then boyfriend, I was really looking forward to playing house with him and living with him overseas, but it was all going so wrong. Everything was wrong. Maybe I had to higher expectations, but I still feel I was mislead as to the reasons why I was even there. I still don’t know why he wanted me to live overseas with him. It seemed I just got in the way for him. There was times when he wanted me to disappear, whilst he chased things I told him if he was just there to chase, I wasn’t interested in being part of. But it happened anyway. But that is life.
Then when this was all done and dusted, I was home again. Yet still dreading Christmas because he wasn’t going to be part of it and that felt wrong too. I was meant to have christmas with him. I spent a while dreaming up about opening up presents and having breakfast in bed. It was all very romantic in my head, but I guess he wanted things a little differently to me. Sometimes these things just don’t work out how you want them too. People grow apart and want different things. I wanted different things.
But that has all changed. I have been home for over 6 weeks (possibly 7 or 8) I really haven’t exactly been keeping count. I think that in itself shows that I am moving on. I am moving on. It’s wonderful. It’s liberating. I am now really looking forward to christmas. I am looking forward to it being exactly the same as every other christmas. I like the predictability of it. I like the routine. Especially this year. I need that this year. Maybe next year or the year after I will have my sappy romantic white christmas that I wanted, and maybe it will be even better than this one overseas was ever going to be. It’s all worked out. It always does. So here is to a christmas filled with giving lots of presents to the people I love whilst living in the here and now. Oh christmas. You really are as magical as I remember.
Today I did, what I do every year around Christmas time and bought a present for the Wishing Tree Appeal. The wishing tree appeal where you buy a present for a specific age and gender of a child and place it under the tree of the participating store. They see that it gets to a disadvantaged child for christmas who otherwise wouldn’t get anything. There are lots of children that go without presents at christmas, and I know that possibly this isn’t the most concerning issue in our society, but they are just kids. But lately I have been getting down about how selfish society and humans can be. So seeing as pretty much everyone just seems to do everything for themselves, here is a bunch of reasons, why giving and helping others, is really selfish and helping you. Oh the irony.
1.) Giving makes you happy – A 2008 study at Harvard University showed that giving money to someone else made the participant happier then when they spent that money on themselves (despite the general conscience believing that the opposite would happen). Happiness expert Dr Sonya Lyubomirsky also conducted a similar experiment where someone did 5 acts of kindness towards others as oppose to 5 things that the individual would want to do for themselves. Overall studies were conclusive that more happiness was created by those individuals that did kind acts for others.
2.) Giving is good for your Mental and Physical Health. – Studies have shown that those who give, overcome lifes challenges greater then those who do not. Giving is known to decrease depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses. Whilst that may seem obvious, what most people do not know is that giving can make you live longer, with elderly volunteers living longer and having less physical health problems. Giving is good for the heart because it stimulates the production of the hormone oxytocin which protects us from hardening of the arteries, dilates our blood vessels, reduces blood pressure, and may help the heart regenerate after damage.
3.) Giving is good for your Social Interactions and Connections- Australian researchers have found that charitable giving activates the mesolimbic pathway in the brain, which is where the neurotransmitter dopamine, the brain’s pleasure system, is found. As well, donating appears to increase the release of oxytocin which promotes social bonding and builds trust between people. Studies found, that those that give, felt less feelings of loneliess and felt more connected to the community as well as a sense of belonging.
So at the end of the day, giving isn’t really giving at all, because you seem to get more out of it, then those you are giving too. But on a more serious note. Think about what is important this Christmas and holiday season and if you are in a position to give, well the arguement above makes it pretty clear why you should (if I do say so myself)
I love these videos. They are part of a collection in which take place in many of the world’s most famous cities, with many different questions. This is one of in my opinion of the better ones to come out recently.
My favourite memory was from a family holiday when I was a 13 years old and my older brother was 15. We were walking along the beach with our parents on a really hot summers day on a beach in the south coast of NSW. It started to pour down, but we all didn’t really mind getting wet, because it was so hot. As we were no where near our beach house or any other form of shelter, my mum,dad, brother and I were all soaked. My dad then started splashing the rest of us with the edge of the shore. Then somehow we all ended up in the water, during the pouring rain fully clothed, wrestling and splashing each other, not caring about a thing in the world. I will always treasure that memory.
A couple of years ago I went on a trip to Cambodia and met some really awesome people. They were mostly all British. Having always aspired to go on a trip to Europe I asked this group on their favourite parts of Europe as I figured niavely for them to be Cambodia they must have already travelled around Europe, as everyone wanted to go to Europe and it was right there at their doorstep. It soon was made apparent to me that these people hadn’t seen a lot of Europe and explored Europe a lot differently then the average Australian youth did.
They then asked me how much of Australia I had seen, because naturally to have Australia right at my doorstep I would have seen everything worth seeing here.Right?….. ummm no.
Why is it that everyone always wants to go the fariest possible spot to them when they haven’t seen what is right on their doorstep? Months ago before I entered Europe and the USA I would have answered to experience something different and different culture. Whilst this is a good point and seems more adventerous, I’ve really started to appriciate what I have right in front of me. I know aspire to see my own country more and more. My next trip will be Australia bound. Its just now to chose which amazing area to see. Great Ocean Rd, the West Coast, Fremantle and Perth, the great barrier reef? The red centre? The choices are endless.
Probably won’t only meet Australians travelling around Australia too.