#loveme challenge – Day Seventeen

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Day 17 – Something that Feeds your Soul

Whenever I’m feeling sick or sad or I can’t sleep, the best remedy I have is to put old episodes of The Simpsons, Rocko’s Modern Life or Rugrats on.  Cartoons – especially ones filled with nostalgia – make me feel like everything is okay.  It helps me switch off and relax, more than almost anything else can.  It takes me back to childhood and the sweet innocence of it all.  Plus, a bit of light comedy is always a good idea!

#loveme challenge – Day Sixteen

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Day 16 – Something You Like about Yourself

This is probably the hardest prompt I’ve had so far.  Although nothing immediately comes to mind (like a lot of females in this day and age probably), I guess I’m going to go with my inner strength.  Is that a strange answer?  Probably.  Honestly, it was a struggle to think of anything at all, which is kind of sad really.  I suppose that’s what this challenge is all about though!

Anyway, I chose my inner strength as I feel like over these past 5 years (especially this year) I have changed from a timid, shy person into someone who can deal with almost anything.  I’ve been dealt a lot of bad hands, met a lot of nasty people, made a lot of mistakes, lost family members and friends…and it’s all made me stronger.  I guess it all comes down to my mentality, and I’ve always been a believer in “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”…after this year, I’m proof of that.

I’ve had nights where I’ve shivered uncontrollably (to the point it probably would have almost looked like convolutions to outsiders), I’ve had days where I cried for hours, I’ve had moments of weakness where I’ve word-vomited my problems to a kind set of ears…but I always manage to pull myself together.  There’s always a strong voice shouting at me through the fog “okay, enough is enough, time to shake this off and get back to it”.  I don’t think anyone would blame me if I fell apart.  In fact, I’m sure some would expect it.  I haven’t though.  I’ve taken hit after hit and I’m doing okay.  I’m still standing.  I’m still fighting.  I’m refusing to let it all get to me.  I suppose part of the reason for that is if I do fall apart, I’m worried I won’t get back up.

Another reason though, is my amazing friends.  Being an introvert, I don’t have a lot of them, but the ones I do are so supportive and amazing.  I don’t have a particularly close relationship with any of my family, so without my friends I don’t think I’d be anywhere near as strong as I am.  Tying in with that, I’ve learnt in these past few years it’s okay to ask for help.  It’s okay to tell people you’re hurting or upset.  It’s okay to let people know you’re issues.  In fact, I’ve sort of come to rely on it.  Everyone knows my problems because I’m always looking for advise or a different outlook.  It’s part of my coping mechanism and while sometimes I wish I kept things to myself more, ultimately it helps me see things more clearly and to move forward with my life.

This was a tough post and it was a bit all over the place, but it’s the best I could do.  I’m trying to have more self-love and self-confidence but it’s a slow process.  I’m sure one day I’ll have a better response to this kind of question, but not today.

#loveme challenge – Day Fifteen


Day 15 – Something I Have Done Right

Another broad topic.  Why are the broad ones always the hardest?  Shouldn’t they be the easiest because you have so many options? Oh right. I’m indecisive.  That’s why.

I think the best thing I’ve done in a long while was move out of home.  This happened over three years ago now.  Ever since I was a pre-teen I was convinced I’d move out of my parents place the second I turned 18.  Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad place by any means.  I had food in the fridge when I wanted it, two little doggies, my own room and a Foxtel box all to myself.

Why would you ever move out? I hear you ask.

My sister has the right idea.  She’s staying there as long as possible, from what I can gather.  Once again showing just how opposite we are.

I’ve always been fiercely independent.  I don’t like being told what to do, or that I’m doing things wrong, or basically to even be spoken to when I’m in an introverted mood.  My mum is opinionated, talkative and somewhat bossy – I say that in the nicest possible way.  Everyone loves her.  She has heaps of friends and even my own friends adore her.  I’m only telling it like it is – we were just incompatible with living together.  The older I got, the worse our relationship became.  Almost every weekend, we’d have screaming matches over stupid things and one – or usually both – of us would end up in tears.  My dad was always stuck in the middle, seeing both sides and not really sure what to do to help.  He really tried, but truth is, he couldn’t fix it.  You can’t fix incompatibility.

While house sitting while the next door neighbours were away, I got a taste of freedom I couldn’t go back from.  I decided right then and there I wasn’t going back to my parents place.  I couldn’t.  I’d had a much better headspace away from them and I couldn’t put myself – or the rest of the family – through our volatile relationship any more.

I found out that my colleague was looking to move out too, and we quickly decided to find somewhere together.  At this stage I didn’t involve my parents at all.  I don’t know why.  I mean, I had this fear they’d tell me I can’t move out.  I was 21, it’s not like they could stop me, plus I’m sure they were enjoying not having to walk on eggshells while I wasn’t there.  Regardless, they didn’t know we were going to inspections every weekend.  We found a couple of places near our work and applied for them, not having any real clue of how it all worked.  We thought it was like job hunting, and you got knocked back more than accepted, which might be true in some areas and for some properties, but apparently not for the ones we applied for. Or maybe we were just ideal  candidates? Either way, we got accepted for both and had a difficult choice.  A flashy new apartment with a higher cost, or a not-so-new flat with slightly more space and less cost?  We went back and forth and eventually decided the extra money was worth it.  The apartment was walking distance from work, had a beautiful walking track, overlooked a lake and had a bus stop right outside (which was lucky because my house mate didn’t drive).

After we signed the paperwork I had to tell my parents.  I knew it would be awkward, just springing it on them, but I guess they saw it coming or didn’t mind, because they took it pretty well.

Neither of us had lived out of home before and for some reason, I decided I was buying absolutely everything new.  I had the savings for it so it wasn’t a big deal, but I guess it shows how naïve I was going into it.  Who buys everything brand new when they move into a rental?  Anyway, we hit up a long row of shops and I bought everything in one go.  Some stuff – like my dining table – I now hate and wish I’d taken more time on.  Most things though I haven’t had second thoughts about (luckily).  I love my squishy comfy couch and my smart TV and my hand chair and my washing machine.  Plus buying everything at once meant a got a good deal on a lot of it, so it wasn’t all bad.  I’d driven my dad’s van that day (thankfully) and came back with it filled to the brim with new goodies.

Then came moving day.  I’d never experienced one before, though I’d heard the horror stories. It went okay, though it was long and exhausting.  Some of the stuff (like the dining table, TV unit and couch) weren’t being delivered til later, so we made do with what we had until then.

It was a lot of fun, once we got settled.  It was amazing to sleep in until 8.30 and still be early for work at 9.  Prior, I’d be leaving at 7.30 to get there on time.  We saw beautiful sunsets almost every night, and we’d often sit on the porch overlooking the lake and talk.

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The best part is, my relationship with my mum improved ten-fold almost overnight.  Now that we weren’t constantly suffocating each other and pushing each other’s buttons, things became easier.  I got my independence, she got her daughter back.  Definitely the thing I’ve done most right in recent years, and I’ve never looked back!

-JD

#loveme challenge – Day Fourteen

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Day 14 – Share a Fear You Overcame

This one goes back a loooooong time.  When I was little, I was terrified of dogs.  Like, I couldn’t be in the same room as them…or same house…or park.  I don’t know why exactly, though I could guess that being that small they must have looked like giants with big teeth and scary barks.  Plus, even since I can remember, we had this terrifying black dog “toy” that I hated.  It was about the size of an actual small dog, and was on wheels and had a handle.  I still don’t really understand what the point of it was.  Was it for me to ride on when I was tiny?  Was I supposed to push it around like a kiddie stroller?  Was I supposed to pet it like it was a real dog?  I have no idea.  All I remember is, when it was nighttime I had to walk past the playroom it was stored in to get to my bedroom, and all I could see through the darkness were its glassy eyes looking back at me.  I would sprint past the room every night.  Needless to say, I never once played with it.

The fear got worse when I was about five.  I was at a park with my mum and baby sister, and all I remember was being chased by a labrador.  I was terrified and screaming my head off and my shoes fell off and I kept running.  The dog obviously thought it was a game, and chased me.  The owner didn’t step in at all.  What sort of person lets their big dog chase a screaming five year old?  I don’t know.  An asshole, no doubt.

My sister (always the opposite of me) loved animals.  She wasn’t afraid of them, she talked about them all the time…yeah, she was one of those kids.  When she turned 4, my parents decided to get her a dog.  That was the excuse, anyway, though I have a sneaking suspicion the real reason was because they were embarrassed about having a 7-year-old that was mortally afraid of canines.

I remember all the homework my mum did on which dog breed to get.  She trawled through paperwork and books.  She wasn’t sure if she wanted a tiny dog or a slightly bigger one.  She’s grown up with all kind of dog breeds; my dad hadn’t had any at all.  I know deep down she wanted a corgi, but I guess she found too many reasons not to as it didn’t make the final list of options.  I don’t really remember what I was feeling as this was going on, though I can guess I didn’t like it.

The day finally came when mum had found a breed she was happy with, and a breeder with puppies.  We drove all the way to Geelong (which felt like forever at that age).  There was only one puppy left.  I don’t remember any of it, but dad has told us countless times that the first time he met the puppy, she peed on him.  I guess she claimed him as her own, because she came home with us.

On the way back, we discussed names.  I remember that.  It came down to two options, Wags (yes, like the Wiggles) or Patch, because of the big black spot on her back.  We ultimately went with Patch, which is probably a better option given Wags is horribly ironic when she had a docked tail.

I don’t remember how long it took me to come around to her, though I feel like it actually wasn’t long.  I guess maybe because she was so small and the rest of the family seemed to be okay with her, then I was too.

She grew up with me, my faithful furry friend.  She lived for 17 years, passing away from kidney failure last year.  It was tough, but she’d lived a long (spoilt) life, and by the end was blind, mostly-deaf and somewhat incontinent.  She’s the reason I love animals now, and the reason I have my own fluffy friend.  I’m glad she came into my life and helped me overcome my fears.  I’m sure eventually I would have to some degree, but I know I wouldn’t love dogs like I do now.

Thank you Patchy, RIP ❤

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#loveme challenge – Day Thirteen

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Day 13 – Share a Quote

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I’m a sucker for quotes.  My “favourites” folder in my iPhone gallery is stuffed full of them, so it was tough to chose just one.  I decided instead of chosing my all-time best, I’d instead share the one I’ve currently got set as my phone lock screen.  I found this on Tumblr (where else?) and I love it.  This is something I’ve learnt in the past five years through my telco experience.  I started off timid, quiet, shy…I walked out of there full of confidence and a lot more prepared to speak up.  I grew so much from my experiences with rude and angry customers, ones that would go out of there way to try to tell me how to do my job.  At first, I let them.  Maybe they’re right?  Maybe I’m missing something?  Maybe I’m doing something wrong?  After I learnt that I was doing all I could, that’s when I decided I wasn’t going to be walked all over.  That’s when I started to grow up.  It’s not often you can pinpoint things like that in life, but I can definitely tell you I’m a different person to who I was at age 20.  I now have a confidence in myself I didn’t have before.  I feel comfortable enough to share my opinions and make myself heard.  This quote sums up perfectly how it feels to finally learn it’s okay to talk.  Before, I’d feel like I was invisible, that nobody listened…at the time, I blamed everyone else and withdrew further.  Now, looking back, I can see it was my fault.  I didn’t let people in, so of course I was going to feel that nobody listened.  I feel like I now have a voice (sometimes even a loud one!) and the world is finally starting to hear me.  It’s a great feeling!

#loveme challenge – Day Twelve

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Day 12 – Share a Flaw

While it can sometimes be a positive thing, I think one of my biggest flaws is how stubborn I am.  I’ve always been that way (Taurus through and through).  I get myself into arguments when it would be easier to walk away, I insist on doing things a certain way, I do things even if people say it’s a bad idea.  I think this was most prevalent in my teenage years, where I didn’t care what anyone thought of me.  Now, having to be all grown up, I have tried to reel it all in a bit and be professional.  I’m learning to let things go…even arguments.  Sometimes, it isn’t easy.  I try to listen to people more, and take on board what they say instead of brushing it off.  I’ve been burnt too many times now by people who told me something then finished it up later with “I told you so”.  That being said, if I’ve been doing something for a long time and people try to tell me I’m doing it wrong…nope.  Just leave me to it.  You have been warned.

As I said, sometimes being stubborn has it’s advantages – it means if I want something to happen badly enough, I will make it happen no matter what.  It also means that I make myself heard, which has sometimes been an issue as I’m very introverted and, up until about the end of my schooling, was very quiet and withdrawn.  My stubbornness was one way I overcame this…if I was right – or rather, if someone said/did something wrong – I’d speak up.  Sometimes it was the only time I’d speak at all.  Thankfully I’m more outgoing now (still not enough to actually call myself ‘outgoing’ as opposed to ‘introverted’ but I’ve definitely crept up the scale a little) and I’ve learnt that what I have to say is just as valid as the next person, and that it’s okay to have the limelight sometimes, even if it’s a little daunting.

-JD

#loveme challenge – Day Ten

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Day 10 – Share a Secret

Hmmmm.  This is a tough one.  I’m a pretty open person, so if something is secret it’s for a good reason.  I think I’ve been pretty honest in this blog – a lot more so than I’d originally anticipated – which is making answering this question hard.  I guess the post I wrote yesterday was something I’d previously kept very much to myself.  I recently lost my job for something stupid and something I shouldn’t have done, but the reason it got found out (in part, anyway) was because I put my trust in someone I shouldn’t have.  That’s always been my problem, no matter how many times I get burned because of it – I always look for the good in people and always want to trust everyone.  It has gotten me in trouble many times and maybe after this latest incident, I’ll have finally learnt my lesson.  Maybe.

-JD

#loveme challenge – Day Nine

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Day 9 – “Share Something Beautiful”

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The weather right now.  It’s 9.14am and just over 20 degrees.  The sky is a glorious blue, the grass is a vibrant green and summer is fast on it’s way.  I’ve already had my walk for today to avoid the heat (the top is going to be 30 degrees, which is the warmest it’s been in about six months).  This afternoon I’ll probably go and read outside.  Yep, today is going to be one of those beautiful days that you spend all winter longing for!

-JD

Sweater Weather

So, this blog is a little different (for me).  I was nominated by ScaleSimple to do this, and it looks interesting.  Full disclaimer though, I can’t answer some of the questions purely because Australia doesn’t work the same way as America does in terms of traditions etc.  Also, it’s Spring in Australia so talking about Autumn is a little weird, but I’ll do by best!

Favorite Candle Scent: I don’t really like scented candles.  We used to have them at my old work and I was always the one sneakily trying to hide it so it couldn’t be relit.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t necessarily mind the smell, but I find them too potent and usually lead to headaches.  If I had to chose a scent though, I’d say vanilla.  Not too original but it does smell nice (in very small doses).

Coffee, Tea, or Hot Chocolate: Hot Chocolate by default.  I don’t do tea or coffee (I know, what is this?!).  I don’t usually drink hot drinks at all.  I’d prefer iced chocolates, milkshakes, smoothies, fizzy drinks or energy drinks generally.

What is the best fall memory you have? I have a bit of a cheat answer here and say my birthdays, because I was born in Autumn.  This year’s birthday was awesome (well, at least, the during-the-day part).  Had my first (non-work-related) Lux experience, went to Escape Hunt (my first go at an Escape Room), got my nails done for the first time and then went to dinner with my closest friends.  We won’t talk about the car accident on the way to dinner.

Best Fragrance for Fall: Do people really change their perfumes for different seasons?  I don’t know.  My current perfume is Taylor Swift’s “Incredible Things”.  I guess it would be suitable for Autumn?

Favorite Thanksgiving Food: This is the first question I actually can’t answer.  Australia doesn’t do Thanksgiving.

Most Worn Sweater: Hmmm.  I don’t know.  I used to wear hoodies a lot a few years ago, but since I put the extra weight on, I’m more of a cardigan wearer now as they seem to fit better.  I miss being able to fit into my purple Superman hoodie though, that was always one of my favourites.  Hopefully I’ll be able to fit into it again soon!

Football games or jumping in leaf piles? Not that I do it, but I’d say jumping in leaf piles because I hate watching sport.

Favorite Type of Pie: Apple.  I make a wicked apple pie!  If I didn’t live by myself, I’d probably make them quite often.  Probably a good thing I don’t though, they aren’t the healthiest of foods.

What is autumn weather like where you live?  It starts off very hot and dry while summer conveniently forgets that it’s time to go away, and then within a couple of weeks, the weather does a complete 180 and is rainy, cold and grey.  Those couple of weeks are probably some of my least favourite of the year because it’s so hard to get used to.  Annoyingly enough, it usually happens during (or just before) my birthday.

Which makeup trend do you prefer, dark lips or winged liner?  
Honestly, neither, though if I had to pick one I’d say dark lips.  I’ve never been a fan of winged liner – I won’t even let my sims characters have it!

What song really gets you into the fall spirit?  Hmmm.  That’s a tough question.  Probably “Ketchum” by Ben Lee, one of my all-time favourite songs ever.  It’s sad and beautiful and seems appropriate for the onset of the cooler weather.

Is pumpkin spice worth the hype?  I wouldn’t know…I don’t think that exists in Australia.  If it does, it’s news to me.

Favorite Fall TV Show: I don’t know what shows are Autumn-specific, so I’m gonna play it safe here and say The Simpsons, which is my favourite show ever and is always on.

Skinny jeans or leggings? Nobody wants to see me in either of them, but I do miss wearing skinny jeans.  Leggings are good under dresses, and that’s about it.

Combat boots or Uggs? Uggs all the way.

Halloween – Yay or Nay? 
In Australia, nay.  There’s always people in the neighbourhood who try to make it work but honestly, it’s such an American holiday that it doesn’t.  If I was in America on Halloween though, then yeah, I’d be down for it.

Fall mornings or evenings? Depends how miserable the weather is, and whether daylight savings had finished.  If it was a nice day and daylight savings was still going, then definitely evenings.

What do you think about Black Friday? I have no opinion on this because it’s another thing Australia doesn’t really do.  It’s only just started to sneak into our vocabulary because of online shopping.  Prior to that, most of us would have had no idea what that was.

One Fall 2015 Trend You Love: Being able to start snuggling under blankets again.  As much as I’m hanging for summer right now, nothing makes me sadder than packing away my blankets.

I know a lot of those answers weren’t great, but I attempted them!  Now for my nominations.  Give it a go!

The Bohemian Within

Banded Carolina Girl

a2enternity

Potato Pizza Burger

Operation Fat Removal

My Troubled & Happy Life

Everything Girly and Healthy After Police

Have fun!

-JD