And I’m Back.

Maybe for this one post.  Maybe forever.  Who knows?

I’ve been AFK for a lot longer than I realized.  I mean, I know it’s been awhile, but re-reading my last life-related post, it was last year, when I was still fairly new at my job and had just signed my building contract.  That seems like a lifetime ago.  Could it really only have been nine months ago?

So much has changed, and yet, nothing really has.  I’m still at the same job, but in a much different place mentally.  I’m still single, although there is definitely someone new in my life.  I’m living back at home, but only temporarily – my house is well and truely on it’s way to being done now.  More than that though, I feel like I’m a different person to back then.  Can nine months really change you that much?  I’m not sure.  I think it has though.

In my last post, I had only been at my job three months.  I was feeling new and awkward and vulnerable.  I was shy, I didn’t feel like I knew anyone.  I was just another face in the big crowd of staff.  Flashforward to today, where I feel like I have found my place in the store (front and centre!) and have some wonderful friends there.  I feel like I can pretty much talk to anyone there now, which for an extremely introverted person, and given there’s 80+ people working there, is a big thing.  A very big thing.  It took a long time to find a job after I lost my previous one, but I feel like I was meant to work here.  The job definitely has its downsides (I mean, it is retail) but I still love it.

I’m also currently learning the ropes for management.  This has always been on the cards due to my previous job experience, but I’m super excited it’s finally happening.  At my previous job, it just kind of happened out of necessity – I mean, it’s not that I didn’t want to do it, but there wasn’t any formal invitation to it, and I never got the official title for it, or the pay to match it.  I was just kind of assumed to be doing the role because nobody else could, and because I was already doing it, why should they increase my pay?  It was an extremely frustrating situation to be in, and I’m sure not an entirely uncommon one in the working world.

Anyway, while this is similar in terms of they won’t be increasing my pay anytime soon, the title is given and the whole store knows what’s going on.  Ideally, obviously, I’d love to be paid for it, but I completely understand that they want to train people first and make sure they’ll do well before anything is set in stone.  Either way, I feel much more comfortable with this scenario.  I also feel like, in general, I get a lot of recognition in store.  I touched on this back in my last post, but that was only a small taste of what I get on a regular basis.  It is safe to say that while I knew recognition was a nice thing, I never fully understood how far it goes with job satisfaction.  I feel like this is one of the major reasons why I love working where I do.  All the store leaders go out of their way to highlight when staff are doing well, and are full of encouragement to get everyone doing better.  When I say encouragement, I don’t mean nagging, or shaming, or being negative – all things I’ve received in my last job, and in turn, I’m ashamed to say, have probably been guilty of dishing out too – I mean celebrating wins and talking about success stories, and sharing tips and tricks on how to do well.  It’s a very refreshing change from where I was previously, and I wholeheartedly want to take this on board with my management skills too.

Tying in with all this, as I touched on earlier, there is someone new in my life.  I don’t really know how to describe our relationship (I feel weird even using that word) but I know there’s something there.  It came completely out of left-field and I think we are both a little shellshocked by it, which is why it’s hard to describe.  I’ve worked with him since I started my new job, but didn’t really notice him – well, no more than I notice any of the other 80+ team members.  He was always friendly, but still, just another face in the crowd.  Until suddenly he wasn’t.  It was literally just like that.  One day, absolutely nothing.  The next, absolutely everything.

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That’s the thing with me.  It’s always been a bit that way.  I fall extremely hard and extremely fast.  Some of my friends are a bit jealous.  I don’t know why.  It’s not a good thing and has lead to me getting hurt 100% of the time.  The other (or maybe the same) issue is, I’m super clingy.  Like…if you knew me as just an acquaintance, you’d probably never pick it because I’m seriously introverted.  I am happy to not speak to people for a week at a time kind of introverted.  Until my heart latches onto someone, and then suddenly, the second we aren’t communicating, it’s all “noooo, come back, I already miss you soooo much!”.  I can step back and see myself and know it is 100% crazy and not at all attractive but I can’t help it.  I have to literally tell myself dozens of times a day that I need to back off, he’s not going anywhere, you don’t need to be acting like this.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Which is why we are currently sitting in this limbo status.  It is 100% my fault for being way too overbearing, and I’m working on it.  I really am.  He’s basically told me he’s not interested right now, which hurt like hell, however since then we’ve gone right back to how we were, so it’s just a weird place to be in.  That being said, I’m not complaining too much – it could easily have gone the opposite way and he refused to talk to me at all, making for a very awkward workplace.  Plus, I feel like this is just a learning experience on how to take things slow.  So, learn I shall.  Maybe things will eventually fall into place, or maybe we’ll both drift back to being just colleagues.  I know what I’m rooting for, but I’m not going to push it either.

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The other big update is my living arrangements.  Since my last update, I was forced to move back to my parents place – the landlord of my rental property sold the house and the new owners wanted to move in.  So back to my childhood home I went.  After living out of home for four years (and wanting to get out of home for many years prior to that), it hasn’t been easy readjusting.  I’m very grateful I had somewhere to go, don’t get me wrong, and my dog is loving the fact she has company almost all the time now, but it is still a very hard place to be back in.  I’m fiercely independent, and on top of that, my relationship with my family has always been tense.  It improved considerably after I moved out and got my own space, and now, day by day, I can feel it slipping back to how it was.  I feel very suffocated being back and having to answer to people again, and being told what to do and when to do it, instead of in my own time and at my own pace.

My mum especially doesn’t seem to understand why I get home and lock myself away, but then, she’s never really understood me much anyway.  She’s outgoing and very much a people-person.  My dad is quieter, but also enjoys being outdoors and getting things done.  I’m like my nan, who prefers to be left alone and doesn’t like her routine messed up.  They see me as lazy, and while I’m not denying that, it stems from my need to unwind from a day spent talking to strangers.  As an introvert, I need to mentally recover from that, and if I can’t, I have a tendency to lash out or become very upset.  If that means sleeping all day on my day off, or going for a drive by myself, or watching 10-year-old Simpsons episodes, then that’s what I do.  When I was living by myself, nobody was there to judge me on it, and it felt completely normal.  Now, all I’m getting is snide comments and rolled eyes.  I’ve literally been spending hours and hours at work just hanging out to avoid home – this is something I haven’t done at all since I started working there, and something I swore I wouldn’t do for my own mental health, but now, I’m finding that my mental health is being affected if I’m at home too long.  I’d rather be around my friends at work than being told what to do at home, even if that means sacrificing my unwinding time.

Thankfully, my house is well on the way to being finished.  After so many delays I’ve well and truely lost count, the framework went up a couple of weeks ago, and since then the roof has gone up and they’ve put in the windows and wiring, and the fencing.  The bricks will be getting laid tomorrow and the plastering should be completed by next week.  I’m hoping like hell it will be done before Christmas, so I can go back to living alone again.  My dog isn’t going to like it, but on the flip side, she’ll actually see me more as I won’t be avoiding home like I am now.

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I can’t believe how much has changed in what feels like a short amount of time, but there you have it.  It’s also hard to believe exactly a year ago, I was going through some of the darkest moments of my adult life, and today, I’m feeling pretty positive about everything.  2016 has definitely proven itself to be a great year so far!

How has everyone else’s 2016 been?

J x

Showdown at Big Sky

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Showdown at Big Sky.”
How do you handle conflict? Boldly and directly? Or, do you prefer a more subtle approach?

I hate conflict.  Like, it actually makes me extremely uncomfortable to the point it can leave me feeling physically sick.  It’s almost like I’m allergic to it.  I don’t know when that reaction started happening…I don’t remember it being there as a kid.  I also don’t know where it stems from, though I suppose my years in retail haven’t helped the issue.

In terms of how I handle it, I guess it depends on the situation.  If it’s between friends, for instance, I am all about subtly and talking it out.  I guess I’m bold in that I’m usually the first one to openly address the problem, but I won’t do it in a confrontational way, even if I’m angry or upset about it.  I know most people tend to shut down when you approach them that way, and the last thing I want is to lose one of the few good friends I have left over something that, even at the time, I can usually appreciate is small and probably trivial.

When I was in management at my old job, I handled confrontation differently.  I wasn’t afraid to tell angry, abusive customers where the door was, and that they are out of line speaking to staff in that manner.  I was never comfortable in those situations, but it was part of the job, and I learnt pretty quickly that subtly doesn’t usually work as they think they’re winning and getting their way.  My worst confrontation happened about six months or so prior to me leaving the job.  It was a flat out Saturday, all the staff were exhausted and run off their feet, and an older lady (not elderly, but not young either) came in, carrying on about her bill and the wait time to get served.  Basically, just being a real sour puss.  One of the girls served her and tried to explain the situation but the lady wouldn’t listen; she’d overtalk and argue and basically was being a rude cow, intentionally drawing attention to herself by speaking loudly and looking around the shop at all the people patiently waiting to be served.  This went on for a long time, I think maybe half an hour.  That’s a long time to put up with someone’s rudeness, even in retail.  Eventually the girl couldn’t handle it any more and excused herself to take five minutes out the back and cool off before she lost it at her customer.  Anyway, I was serving a different customer but I’d been keeping tabs on the rude bitch since she came in (that’s what managers in telco have to do in case it suddenly escalates).  My store manager was also on the floor, serving customers, listening to everything.

The rude bitch decides she’s had enough and gets up and marches over to the store manager, demanding he help her at once.  At this stage he’s at the register and there’s at least five people waiting, and her issue was one we actually couldn’t fix in store (the girl who was serving her tried to explain that many times).  Anyway, the store manager tells her in no uncertain terms that she is to sit back down and wait, and he’ll be over when he can.  He wasn’t rude about it, though he was blunt.  She wasn’t happy about this at all, and decides she wants to speak to the original consultant right then and there.  She marches over to the door leading into our back room and slams her fists against it so hard I thought she was going to punch through it.  I was standing right next to her (literally about 30 centimetres away) and I lost it.  I’d been getting pretty angry at her from the moment she’d come into the store, though I’d kept it inside as she wasn’t my customer, but I couldn’t handle it any more.  I completely forgot I was halfway through serving a customer.  I whirled around, screamed at her “EXCUSE ME, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”
The lady took a second to realize that the yelling was actually directed at her, and from a member of staff no less (I have a feeling she didn’t even notice I was standing there).  She looked up at me, anger dancing in her eyes, but also a little bit of fear.  I’ll bet she wasn’t expecting anyone to stand up to her.  “I want to speak to the girl again.” She spat.
“SHE’S OUT THE BACK CRYING FROM THE WAY YOU TREATED HER.  YOU WON’T BE SPEAKING TO HER AGAIN.  NOW GO AND SIT DOWN LIKE THE MANAGER TOLD YOU TO OR GET OUT.”

I’d never raised my voice to anyone in public like that before in my life, let alone a customer.  I was seething.  She was rude, aggressive and wasn’t willing to listen.  The whole shop – which was still packed with customers – had gone dead silent the moment the old bitch started trying to break down the door.  I guess she’d only just noticed because suddenly, she looked around, embarrassment slowly overtaking her anger.  She slunk back to her seat, sat there for about ten seconds, then got up and left.

The customer I was midway through serving was so nice.  “Are you okay?” she asked.  “If you need to take a break, I’ll wait for someone else to serve me.  I worked in retail for awhile, I totally understand how that must have felt.  People just have no respect or manners any more.”

I assured her I was okay (a giant lie) and finished serving her, before going out the back.  Three staff members (including the girl who’d been serving the bitch) couldn’t stop talking about what happened and how brave I was and how it took them a minute to even work out it was me yelling because they’d never heard me do that before.  I felt physically sick.  I sat down, hunched over, my stomach in severe pain.  I don’t know why the yelling caused that reaction, but God did it hurt.  It took a good twenty minutes for it to start subsiding.  I was the hero of the store for the day, but I felt rotten for it.

This is why I’m kind of glad I’m not in management right now.  I mean, I enjoy leading the team and organising events and whatnot, but having to be the one to resolve conflict and disputes…it’s tough for someone who can’t handle fighting or aggression.  I’ve definitely gotten mentally stronger since I started in telco all those years ago (the first few times I got yelled at, I started crying), but the trade off is physical pain instead of mental.  Why can’t everyone just be nice to one another?  It’d make my life so much less complicated!

“Tell Us Your Best Practical Joke Story”

I love practical jokes and am always the mastermind behind them!  These are my best two, though I have heaps more that could easily be listed instead!

The best practical joke story I have happened about three years ago.  My then-housemate and work colleague had just signed up for a new phone, and she was so excited about it.  It was her first Samsung after coming from iPhone and she was over the moon about it.  She treated it like it was her baby.

She didn’t have a passcode on it, so it was a practical joke begging to happen.  She’d left it out the back at work, and so we decided then was the perfect time to prank her.  We downloaded an app that made the screen appear to be broken (it looked pretty convincing).  Then we called her into the back office, poker faces in play, all looking upset and guilty.

Someone told her that her phone had fallen off the shelf when it was charging.  She flipped out.  She was stressing out and close to tears and asking how it could have happened.  It went on and on, with it getting harder and harder not to laugh.  Finally I cracked, I couldn’t keep a straight face any longer.  When she was told it was a joke, she laughed but was really angry too (as most joke victims are).  She was very relieved her phone wasn’t broken.

Ironically, about a month later, someone dumped their heavy bag on her phone at work, and the screen actually got broken.  She didn’t believe it at first, assuming it was another joke, but it wasn’t.  That made us feel a little guilty!

*

My other good practical joke story happened last year, again at work.  My two best work friends had gone to get coffee and they sent me a selfie of them halfway there.  I decided payback was in order as they didn’t invite me with them.  I emailed myself the photo, printed it off about 30 times, then stuck it all around the back room, including in the safe, in the fridge, on the microwave and on the roof.  I had to do it quickly as I knew they’d be back at any moment.  Luckily the back room was tiny so 30 copies basically covered everywhere.

They walked back in and only noticed one of them at first.  They were confused as to why I’d printed it, but didn’t say anything.  Then suddenly, another one caught their eye, and another, until suddenly they realized they were staring at themselves all over the room.  Everyone else taught it was hilarious, and they spent the next five minutes taking all the pictures down.

What’s your best practical joke?

This prompt, and many more, can be found here.

“When You Are Feeling Blue, What Will Turn That Frown Upside Down?”

When I’m feeling upset, these are a few things that always make me feel a bit better:

  • Have a long, hot bath.  This is always my first point of call.  About a year ago, I rekindled my love of baths and now I try to have them 3-4 times a week in replace of showers.  Initially, I started having baths as my eczema was the worst it had been since I was a kid and soaking in bath oil helped.  I still add the bath oil (as the hot water definitely dries out my skin), but now I have baths for relaxation more than medical reasons.  I’ll sometimes blog or surf Tumblr or listen to music.  Often I’ll read.  There’s just something about the warmth that helps everything seem a little better.
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  • Write.  Sometimes the best way to feel better is to let it out, and the best way for me to let it out is to vent onto a word document.  I’ll often start it like I’m writing a letter to the person who’s upset me (if that’s why I’m upset), and then I’ll just let my fingers type whatever crosses my mind.  I average about 1-2 pages, and I find it often helps me to pinpoint why I’m so upset and get my thoughts in order.  I always save the document so I can look back on it later on and realize how far I’ve come.
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  • Cry.  I’m a big advocate of crying.  Sometimes, you just need to crawl under a blanket and let it all out.  I always feel worse and more stressed if I’m holding in my emotions, and I always feel a lot better after I release it.
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  • Talking.  Similar to writing, sometimes I just need to vent.  I don’t mind showing weaknesses and letting my guard down around certain people.  Those same people are the ones I always want their input about situations in anyway, so it makes sense to explode on them a little.  I think they’re used to it by now!
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  • Junk Food.  Not an ideal solution but sugary, fatty foods always make bad things seem a little less painful.  Ice cream, donuts, fries and cookie dough is the top of my list.  And chocolate.  Always chocolate.
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  • Music.  If I can find a song that relates or fits my situation, it will be put on repeat over and over until I’m thoroughly sick of it.  There’s nothing quite like an artist putting your pain into words and over a backing track.
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  • Go for a Walk.  This is the newest one on my list.  Depending on the weather and what the problem I’m facing is, sometimes fresh air and exercise help to take my mind off the problem, or allow myself time to think the problem through.  There’s nothing quite like the feeling of warm sunshine and a light breeze to lessen the pain!
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What ways do you make your bad days better?

I found this prompt here, along with heaps of others!

#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.

Success!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Success!.”
Tell us about a time where everything you’d hoped would happen actually did.

My favourite time that everything came together like I hoped it would was when I arranged a surprise party for one of my closest friends.  He was really looking forward to his birthday but found out he had to go interstate for a work conference and would be there for the week of (and including) his special day.  He didn’t know a lot of people he was supposed to be attending with, and I knew I couldn’t let him have a birthday with people who would probably forget.

I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I decided I was going to arrange for a group of us to fly up there and surprise him.  This, for me, was a big challenge.  I don’t travel…ever.  The last time I’d been on a plane was about four years prior, and I’d had plenty of help organising that.  I didn’t care though.  This was something I wanted to do…something I was determined to do.

My first major challenge was finding a way to contact his little sister.  We didn’t know each other at all, and neither did any of the people I’d asked to come on the trip.  I had no reason to ask the birthday boy (let’s call him Kye) for her number…that would have lead to so many questions I couldn’t answer that it wasn’t even worth considering.  The only option I had was through Facebook, but of course because I wasn’t friends with her on there, my message went straight to her “others” folder.  I knew it’d mean so much more if she was there, but there wasn’t much else I could do but wait and hope she’d stumble across it.

The next challenge was flights and accommodation, which would have been easy, except the company arranging the conference was keeping everything pretty close to their chest for as long as possible.  The only thing I knew for sure was the dates it was being held, and roughly where.  I decided to ask our area manager, but even he didn’t know any more.  Great! I cursed.  This isn’t going well at all!

All I could do was wait.  The dates were drawing closer and I started to think it just wasn’t going to happen.  Suddenly, out of the blue, Kye’s sister replies to me, weeks after I’d sent it.  She said she didn’t even know that folder existed and found it when she was bored.  She was definitely in and really excited about it!  That was one less thing to worry about.

I then decided to tackle the next thing on my list – the presents.  I arranged for everyone we work with to chip in and get him something he’d been wanting for ages, and I also arranged for everyone to write a special message to him which I made into a scrapbook.  All this took quite awhile to arrange as I not only had a lot of people I had to involve, but I had to do it when he wasn’t there, which proved to be quite difficult.  I managed it though!

Another week crept by.  The conference was only about a week away and I decided we just needed to book everything.  I couldn’t wait any longer.  I had a rough idea of where they’d most likely be, so I just went with that.  I went to book flights (nervously, as I hadn’t booked flights by myself ever and didn’t know exactly what I was doing).  I got right through to the end and it all seemed to be going okay…until I went to process the payment.  It kept processing and processing.  Five minutes, ten minutes.  I started panicking – I’d paid for everyone, and I didn’t know what to do if it didn’t process properly.  In the end, all I could do was close out of the whole thing and start again.  I was freaking out it was going to take the money out twice.  I trawled around the website, seeing if I could find any trace of the first booking, but I couldn’t.  I contacted the airline, and they said not to worry, even though PayPal showed the initial transaction as ‘pending’.  All I could do was wait and see what happened…luckily, it never withdrew, and the second time I submitted everything it went through.  Talk about scary!  I then booked the nicest budget hotel I could find…much easier.  The plan was now locked in – we’d go up for one night, surprise him, spoil him, then hop on a plane back to reality the following morning.  A whirlwind trip.

As fate would have it, Kye received his itinerary the following day after I booked everything.  I fired question after question about it.  I have no idea why that didn’t arouse suspicion…I guess I just ask a lot of questions all the time.  I’d gotten so lucky – the hotel he was staying in was walking distance from the one I’d booked for us, and on top of that, there were no concrete plans for his birthday night!  The area manager had warned me that if something was planned, it would make things more challenging.  So relieved!

The big day finally arrived.  He’d flown up early the previous day, and had absolutely no idea that he’d be seeing us all so soon.  We hopped onto the plane at 5pm, got to our hotel by 7, and were eagerly waiting outside the venue where he was by 7.30.  I was on the phone with our area manager, who told us when to come in.  The wait was excruciating and seemed to go on forever.

Finally, we got the all clear, and we all hurried in.  Apart from one of the other guys talking a little too long, the surprise went off perfectly.  He had no idea we’d come all the way out, he loves his presents and, after the initial shock wore off, we went out and had an awesome night overlooking Darling Harbour.  The only problem was it was over way too quickly!  Before we knew it, we were on our second flight in 24 hours, thoroughly pleased with ourselves that everything had gone so well but sad it was all over.

-JD

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Regrets, I’ve Had a Few

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Regrets, I’ve Had a Few.”

Dear N,

I put my trust in you when I shouldn’t have.  You were upset about how someone else had treated you, to the point you were inconsolable.   You looked at me through wet eyes and said through sobs “I don’t understand how anyone could do that to someone else, I would never do that”.  I believed you.  I shouldn’t have.  Whether or not they were crocodile tears I’ll never really know.  You confided secrets in me, and I you.  We weren’t best friends and that was never the plan or intention.  At the time, we were just two people who got along and had been simultaneously wronged by a person we thought we could trust.  We felt closer because of it.  Or at least, I did.
Fast forward twelve months.  Things had changed fundamentally in the world around us.  This isn’t the first time, so there’s no reason why it should have changed us as people.  I don’t believe it changed me.  For some reason, though, it changed you.  There was no reason for it.  You met some new people but the ones who’d stood by you hadn’t faltered or upset you.  We still had your back, like we had twelve months ago, and we thought you still had ours.
It came out of the blue that you’d talked behind our backs, filed serious complaints against us.  Complaints that you must have known would lead to our downfall.  Why?  That’s what I’ll never understand.  What made you suddenly think it was okay to do that?  What could you possibly gain from it?  Were we so horrible?  So many questions I’ll never know the answer to.
“I don’t understand how anyone could do that to someone else, I would never do that”.  Did you forget that moment, twelve months before?  I know you didn’t, because that was when I confided in you and what you used against me at my time of weakness.  How dare you?  You knew I’d never break the promise you’d asked of me at the same time, to keep what you told me secret.  Apparently that never meant the same thing to you.
The girl who wronged both of us was bad, that much I’d not denying.  You are worse though, because you saw what it was like from our side, and you knowingly inflicted that stress on us once again.  At least the first girl had the good sense to remove herself from the situation after filing the complaint – you decided that it was perfectly acceptable to stay, like you’d done nothing wrong.  I hope when you look around you now and see the hurt you’ve caused the people left behind, you realize what you’ve done.  You not only lost friends in the people you complained about, you lost friends who stood by us afterwards.
Despite what you did, at least some small good has come from it.  We now know who our real friends are and always were, and they now know not to trust you.  At least they won’t repeat the mistakes that we made.
I can almost hear your reply to all this.  You’d have your most innocent sounding voice, saying “I didn’t know it would lead to this!”.  BULLSHIT.  You knew exactly what you were doing, or at least would have had the common sense to know where it could lead.  There’s no excuse for it.  You went out of your way to cause major problems for people who cared about you, and that is the ultimate betrayal.  You caused them stress that didn’t need to happen, you caused tears that didn’t need to be shed.  You stood there, lit the match and watched the world burn.  I just hope karma pays you a visit very soon and gives you a hard kick in the pants.  That’s the least you deserve for being such a terrible person and an even worse friend.  And I hope karma is in the shape of someone you thought you could trust, so you understand what you did.
-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

#loveme challenge – Day Five

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Day Five – “A Note to Your Past Self”.

Hmmm.  This is vague.  Interesting, but vague.  Who do I write to?  My five-year-old self that was obsessed with Barbies and the colour orange?  My nine-year-old self who was absolutely convinced she’d become an artist when she grew up?  My twelve-year-old self, in the cusp of puberty and extremely embarrassed by it all?  So many options.

Dear my sixteen-year-old self.
Hi.  I know it’s hard to believe I’m writing to you from the future.  I’m 25 now.  Seems crazy right?  25, the time you assumed that you’d have it all together.  Well, unfortunately you don’t.  No partner, no job, renting (don’t be mad, I know you swore you’d never get stuck the rent trap but you also know how badly you needed to move out of the parentals place.  Trust me, this isn’t so bad), still not sure what you want to do with your life.  But you know what?  A lot of 25-year-olds are in the same situation.  It’s scary, but it’s not so bad.  I know to you, 25 seems so far away, but it isn’t.  It’ll come faster than you think.
I know right now you’re going through some stuff.  You feel alone.  You aren’t.  Sixteen is a tough year for most people.  Don’t let it get you down.  Enjoy yourself.  I know the teachers at school are all about you “knuckling down” and suggesting you “think about your future”.  I know the tests are getting harder, the lessons are getting more serious.  Don’t worry about it.  Just do your best, but don’t let it wear you down.  There’s more important things than the result of some quiz.  Go out more with your friends.  Spend more time with your dogs.  Buy stupid things.  Quit that awful job.  Don’t let yourself get stressed out and depressed.  Everything will work out.
That boy you think you’re in love with…let him go.  He’s not right for you and not interested in you.  You pretending to enjoy sport isn’t going to get you anywhere.  Don’t let him hurt you, you’re worth more than that.  It’s okay to be alone, even if the whole world seems to believe otherwise.
It’s okay to be emo.  It’s okay to enjoy it.  If it makes you happy, just do it.  It won’t last forever.  At 25, you can’t do stuff like that any more.  Enjoy these phases while you can, it’ll make for more interesting stories later on.
Don’t listen to your mum or anyone else who says you’re fat.  You aren’t.  You may not be the skinniest person in your year level but you are not overweight.  Don’t throw in the towel and think it’s okay to eat bad food all the time.  It will catch up with you!
The most important piece of advise I’ve got – more important than anything else I’ve mentioned – is to be yourself.  I know at 16, it’s all about peer pressure and fitting in, but almost all the people you associate with now, you won’t remain friends with in a few years.  Hard to believe, I know, but it’s true.  People grow up, go separate ways, don’t have time to organise catch ups.  Don’t worry what they think.  Don’t pretend you enjoy things that you don’t, don’t spend time with people you dislike.  It’s okay to go against the crowd sometimes, but it’s also perfectly fine to go with it (which I know you struggle with).  Sometimes, the crowd is right.  You don’t have to constantly be at war with “the man”.  Pick your fights.
Anyway, hope school isn’t too tough for you today!  Chin up soldier!

-JD