#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 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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I Can’t Stay Mad At You

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “I Can’t Stay Mad at You.”
Do you hold grudges or do you believe in forgive and forget?

I don’t really believe in either.  I mean, it depends who I’m mad at and what they’ve done, but if they aren’t someone I’d consider a close friend, and if they’ve done something I see as horrible, I will cut all ties with them.  I wouldn’t say I hold a grudge, because that would mean I’m actively staying mad at them.  No, I just try to leave them in the past.  I don’t forgive them and I don’t forget what they’ve done, but I also don’t waste my energy on thinking about them.  Instead, I try to heal myself from the damage they’ve caused…and that, for me, takes a long time because I get hurt by others actions easily.  I try to see the good in everyone and if they’ve gone and done something to offend/upset/hurt me (intentional or not), it takes a lot for me to switch off the hurt.  Admittedly, I am getting better at both keeping my distance from people, and at moving on, but it isn’t (and will never be) an overnight process.  I think holding grudges is a waste of time and something I moved on from doing in high school, but I also think forgiving and forgetting is a recipe for more pain down the track.

That being said, if one of my close friends does something wrong, I am all about forgiving and forgetting.  It takes a lot for me to consider someone a close friend, and for me to do that I have to trust them and their motives completely.  If they’ve fucked up, I always believe it wasn’t their intention and that if, given a second chance, they wouldn’t do it again.  I know that’s contradictory to my attitude towards everyone else, and can definitely lead to issues later on, but I’d like to think if I made mistakes they’d forgive me too.  That’s what friendship is, isn’t it?  Knowing the person well enough to give them extra chances?

-JD

#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!

“And then I’ll let her break my heart ‘cos that’s all that I do well…”

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “This Is Your Song.”
Take a line from a song that you love or connect with. Turn that line into the title of your post.

One of my favourite songs of all time is Ben Lee’s “Ketchum”, which is off his second album, made well before he became famous.

I’ve loved it since the first time I heard it, years and years and years ago, when I was going through my “Ben Lee 4eva” phase.  There’s reasons why it has stayed in my heart long after the phase died out.

Firstly, those haunting strings in the background.  God, I can’t even deal with how beautiful they are.  I know it’s not Mozart-quality, but they get me every time.

Secondly, I can relate to so many of the lyrics.  These ones are my absolute favourite, though I love the whole song:

I’m gonna roam the Ketchum streets to find a Ketchum girl
And then I’ll let her break my heart ‘cos that’s all that I do well

The valley will become my home her hills will keep me safe
I’ll give her songs about my soul when there’s no soul left to take
And I’ll forget, I ever lived in any other place

And these ones:

And it may seem inevitable, I would love this fate
So beautiful and tragic and her heroes can’t escape
And Hemingway he shot himself one July evening late

I know it’s not the most uplifting song in the world, but whenever I’m feeling upset or hurt or alone, I crank this song up.  The last thing I want to hear when I’m feeling that way is something happy and chirpy.  This song is a reminder that I’m not alone, and that it’s okay to feel bad sometimes.  Hell, it’s even okay to wallow in it for awhile, just so long as you come back from it eventually.

I absolutely adore the whole album, and it still blows my mind that he was 17 when it was released!  How mental is that!  It’s not a musical masterpiece in terms of instruments used or anything, but some of the lyrics on the album are so beautiful I can’t even deal.  I wish I was half as talented as he was back then.  So crazy!

#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

#loveme challenge – Day Eight

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I missed doing this for a couple of days but I’m just going to pick up where I left off instead of doing a mass catch up.

Day 8 – “Share a Scar”.

I’ve got a scar on the back of my hand that I’ve had for two and a half years now.  I got it from when my little 12-week-old puppy got a little too playful and scratched me.  When people say that puppies have sharp claws, they ain’t lying.  I love having this scar as it’s like a little permanent reminder of my bestest furry friend.  She’s still as playful as she was back then, but luckily her claws aren’t as sharp!

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#loveme challenge – Day Seven

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Day Seven – “One Thing that Is Just For You”.

Wow.  This is probably the toughest one yet.  I’m not sure if it means an object or a habit/action.  I’m guessing because this whole challenge is based around positive thoughts and acknowledging the good, it’s probably the latter.  I’m not sure encouraging materialism is all that positive (though I don’t care what anyone says, having a shiny new gadget is a great feeling!).

So, one thing I do just for me.  I guess I only have one thing I can put in here right now.  Given the no income issue, almost all the stuff I’d usually do regularly (going to the cinemas, eating out, going for long drives etc) aren’t feasible.  I have kept up one creature comfort, however, and that’s getting my nails done.  I only started doing this six months ago (although I had wanted to try it for a long while).  I know it might seem crazy to sink $50 into it every 3-4 weeks when I don’t have a job and rarely leave the house (save for going to job interviews and walking the dog around the neighborhood) but honestly, I love having them on and it makes me feel like I have control over at least some of my body and how it looks.  It also helps with my eczema – even though they’re quite long, fakies are also really dull and makes it harder to scratch yourself stupid.  Prior to getting them done, it wasn’t uncommon for me to wake up with scratch marks on my face like I’d been the victim of an attack.  I had been…an attack of being itchy my sleep.  Now, I never wake up like that because I physically can’t do that much damage.

I love all the different options you have with them, in terms of colours and shapes and length.  I’m a sucker for sparkles and I love how well-done they always turn out.  I also think (or maybe use as an excuse) that it makes me look more professional in job interviews.  It makes me appear more well-presented, and gives them a little taste of my personality, which doesn’t usually shine too brightly in such a formal, awkward environment.

Before you start, I know how bad it is for my nails.  They’re paperthin and brittle as hell, which kind of sucks because before this all started, I had really strong nails.  Part of me thinks after I get them done “this will be the last time, I won’t redo them after this” but I inevitably do.  I enjoy them too much, it’s helping with my skin condition and – honestly – I’m dreading having to go through the brittle-nail phase.  I know if and when I stop getting them done, my nails will eventually grow stronger and back to normal, but the in-between phase isn’t going to be fun.  So I keep going back and redoing them, putting off the inevitable.  #procrastinator4lyf

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-JD