Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Question 10

What can you do today that you weren't capable a year ago?

Ride a bicycle in Sydney


Sort out my Australian superannuation (I'm an adult now)

Go into a nail bar and be comfortable with asking for a service

I haven't learnt a terrific amount in the past year have I? Dang, and here I am saying I love to learn.

Question 9

What's a belief that you believe that many people disagree with?

As previously mentioned, I was raised a Catholic. This resonates with me, it always has. From a very young age, mum would say prayers with us; we'd appeal to 'Mr. God' to help whatever pickle we were in or to thank Him for our day, our loved ones, or our good graces.

Interestingly we were C&E Catholics (Christmas and Easter) most of the time, though I was always spiritual. I loved the history of the Church, the mysteries it presented, the Gothic columns, the carved sculptures of Mary looking solemn, the traditions, the hymns, the ritual of the mass. I resented my Grandmother pushing the church on me, religion had to be on my terms, as my interpretation was private and rarely discussed.

Over the past five years or so, I began to attend mass more frequently, certainly not every Sunday, though maybe once a month. Over the past five months however, I have been attending every Sunday. I can't tell you my reasons, though I never want to lose that feeling that I have someone looking after me. God provides that comfort for me, the church gives me solace from any outside troubles I face. An hour a week, I escape whatever issue i have or am experiencing, and I become part of a community to share a common love.

I have developed a religious belief that I know a lot of people do not believe in, and outright criticise. I often think it's interesting how discriminatory they are by doing so, and if the roles were reversed, how incredibly bigoted it would seem. It does sadden me that I cannot be completely open about my beliefs, though I'm not a preacher, and never will be. My religion is my own and I keep it close to my chest. I draw happiness from the scriptures and lessons and beliefs; this of course is not to say I respond to every teaching, made up by nomadic desert people 2000 years ago to suit their needs. I respond to the good of the church; I choose messages that provide growth and inner peace, and some people may say that's accepting a percentage of Catholicism, that's their prerogative. My faith is my own, and none else's.

Question 8

Who do you love and what are you doing about it?

What a strange and perplexing question. Terribly convoluted.

I love my family, and I see them as much as I can. I love my niece and nephew, almost a year old now. I give them kisses and cuddles and squish their little faces up to mine, and watch them sleep, and tickle their toes, and blow raspberries on their bellies. I love my 94 year old great aunt and try to stay with her at least once a month. She makes me smile, her wisdom, her eccentricities, the fact that she insists on cooking a meal for me when I visit. I love my sister, she's a tough cookie though she loves me back and I know that out of anyone in this world, she would be the one who is there for me. She makes me laugh uncontrollably, and for this fact alone, she is awesome.

Question 7

Do you ask enough questions, or do you settle for what you know?

I allow myself to ask questions when questions are called for, though when a question can be passed in lieu of finding the answer myself, then I will take the road of research. I have no qualms about asking for a response, for help, for clarification; I know I'm not a stupid person, and though my questions sometime may appear simplistic, chances are someone else didn't have the courage to ask what they didn't understand, and would silently appreciate me asking.

I seek answers, I am learning constantly. Learning is rad, though as always, I will only pay heed to things I'm actually interested in. Like in school, I'll tune out if I'm not interested. Glaze over. Zombify.

Currently I am learning about embroidery, bicycle maintenance and Coco Chanel. Oh, I'm also researching the vibrator, all in the name of work research of course. Check out Hysteria...

Question 6

What do you wish you spent more time doing five years ago?

Five years ago I was about to turn 25, I was living in Notting Hill, I was working for a large Arts organisation, I was seeing a boy.

There are no regrets, though for the purposes of completing the assignment, I wish I saw more of the UK, took more weekend trips. Lame answer, I know.

Honestly, it was a brilliant time in my life, and I was extremely lucky to have all the experiences I did. Travels, love, laughs, living.

Question 5

What life lesson did you learn the hard way?

You cannot 'fix' people.

All the words, the ideas, the hope you may have for someone will not change them for the better, unless they are willing to change themselves. Unless they see the hope for themselves. Unless they have the desire.

You can choose to put yourself in that situation. It's always a choice.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Question 4

What gets you excited about life?

I could write a very long winded post about this, though to put it simply, my future gets me excited about life.

A friend once told me that I never lived in the present, therefore I was never happy in the moment as I was always looking ahead. I would say, 'I can't wait til this happens', or 'It'll be so much better when that happens'. Of course this is not the most efficient state of mind to always be in, though my dreamy complexities seems to waddle in the pools of future moments.

I look forward to things, and when they happen, I love them. Those things keep me distracted from the everyday things, which of course I know I am missing, though I'm sure if they were exciting enough I would be focused on them as well.

You follow?

I'm excited about owning and operating my own business one day.

I'm excited about meeting someone and having a family.

I'm excited about heading over to Perth to celebrate my best friends 30th birthday with her.

I'm excited about breaking 10kms on the treadmill in under an hour.

I'm excited about my twin niece and nephew growing up and being able to talk with me about life's little challenges.

I'm excited about the tomato plant in the backyard sprouting a harvest.

I'm excited about making chocolate gelato with my new ice cream machine.

I'm excited about learning to embroider.

And that's just the start of it.

Question 3

What’s the most sensible thing you’ve ever heard someone say?

I'm not entirely sure I can answer this question, as I can't recall sage pieces of advice being handed down, or over to me. I've had to read the advice, or experience things in order to learn the lessons.

I guess having my heart broken at age 20 was something I always looked back on and thought, 'I'm glad I know what heartbreak is, because now I will be able to tell the difference between infatuation and love'.

Maybe someone would be able to share some wisdom?

Question 2

Who do you sometimes compare yourself to?

Try as I might to not compare myself to others, it's inevitable that I do.

I, like any other person, have their down days, their fat days and their dull days. Though sometimes I also wake up and feel fantastic, invincible, elated; it could almost be described as enigmatic.

I was bought up Catholic, and that means I have a cloud of guilt pretty much hanging over my head all-the-time. We cannot feel sorry for ourselves, yet we frequently do. We cannot dwell on our own problems, yet we bemoan our grievances. We must have trust and love for our fellow human beings, though we are amongst some of the greediest humans (past and present).

This brings me to my roundabout point of comparison. To compare means that you are thinking you'd rather be something else, somewhere else, or someplace else. It signifies desire, want, need - not attractive traits in the average person.

I used to want to be any other person when I was in my late teens. Then, several years later, I turned down a path whereby I became truer to myself. I stopped focusing on what other people thought about me, and decided my opinion of myself was the one that mattered. I began deciding how I wanted to live and began to grow steadily into myself. Into my quirks. Into my bodyshape. Into my erratic mood swings. Into my sometimes inappropriate mouth. Into my bookishness. Into my gentleness.

We're all a combination of traits, never being wholly good or wholly bad. As Judy Garland said once, 'Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.'

Sunday, January 1, 2012

365 questions - number one

I'm a believer that we need to keep asking questions, it's the only way to learn (as well as observing and listening). And I like learning. And searching. I like challenging myself and exposing myself and finding a moment to see the possibilities.

I have 365 thought provoking questions to ask myself this year, and I'll endeavour to answer one a day. Some will be lengthy in response, some will be minimal. Let's get started.

1. When was the last time I tried something new?
I craft. I enjoy crafting, and I find the more you do it, the more you want to learn and challenge yourself in new techniques. I scour the internet for beautiful and inspiring patterns and tutorials, and it was by this method that I found instructions for a lovely Larksfoot Blanket, provided in turn by the lovely Pip Lincolne, on her blog, Meet Me at Mikes.

I've done a lot of crocheting; I prefer it to knitting as the results are somewhat more immediate. Lately I've been wanting to expand upon my craft repertoire, so I've decided 2012 is the year of the embroider. I've turned through pages and pages of Etsy wares, finding patterns such as the ones below. I guess if i was to respond to the above question in about a week, I would have answered 'I am learning to embroider'.

Buy here
I have also been trying my hand at running at the gym. Although I am not new to running (having learnt the art almost 28 years ago), I assure you I found it repulsive as my gangly awkwardness clustered my ambition to be gracious. Nevertheless, in the vain hope to carve out some sort of Summer physique, I jumped on the treadmill on a quiet Saturday morning not so long ago, and decided to try my hand (or feet, as it were). I lasted 13 minutes.

Since that day, I have increased my speed and length; now I run for about 30 minutes, my last efforts tracking 8.3kms. I was a proud girl. And the best thing, I felt like I could come home and eat anything I wanted. I conquered that fear, because it definitely was a fear.


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