Success

A relatively new friend of mine posted a poignant status on Facebook about the definition of success. It’s definition, what it means to society and most importantly what it means to us as individuals. It is easy to look to the societal views on success which often drift to material objects like house, car, mortgage (or lack thereof!) , relationship, children, grandchildren, knowledge and the big one money.

I did some online research about success and there is one word that kept emerging through my investigative journey “failure”. Kathleen Parker from The Washington Post has written an extensive article on “Success By Failing” and goes into our love of stories of success.

“A history of human failure would make for a long and interesting read, yet we prefer books about success. We thrill at the end-zone victory dance, applaud the extra point, admire the perfect 10. In literature, what is redemption but recovery from human failing? We love no one more than the man or woman who says I made a mistake, I’m sorry, please forgive me. Forgive? We want to hoist the penitent on our shoulders.” –  How we succeed by failing – The Washington Post. 2015. How we succeed by failing – The Washington Post. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/how-we-succeed-by-failing/2011/10/14/gIQAnDgykL_story.html. [Accessed 18 December 2015].

It is also a word that resonates with me. I feel like I have tried so many things in life and if I looked at what the societal norms of success are, then I would be a failure. I tried to have a career as a singer, failure (well to be honest I never really tried that hard!), I failed at a 5 year relationship, I failed at my first attempt at completing university, I failed to move onto another relationship for another 5 years after that 5 year relationship ended. I failed at life when I fell into a deep depression turning to alcohol and indulgence, I failed at maintaining a relationship with my biological father due to extreme prejudice. I could go on all day about the long list of what could be considered “failures” in my life.

It would be easy for me to look back and get depressed about these failures and think wow I have no success in my life, that is if I chose to measure what I consider success against societies measuring stick. So what do I consider success? For 6 years I have run an online publication Novastream which has gone from being a small music blog to now this giant monster of a website where I get to work with so many amazing and talented writers and media personalities across the country. Does it rake in millions of dollars a day? No but I still consider it to be a success. I have my mental and physical health back on track and have been in a relationship for a few months now.

I have a roof over my head, I have a car, am completing university and on track to getting into the kind of career and job that I want to have. I have finished my first television script (I wrote a whole freaking season of the show!) and am on track to finish my first novel by the middle of next year (with a short story also in the works!).

When measuring success, the typical thing we do as humans is to compare ourselves to other people. Be that peers, celebrities, business people or gurus, instead what I have learnt is to compare our success to our own model of what the word means. It is not all about million dollar houses, fancy cars and clothes (although it is nothing to sniff at!) Success should be a reflection of your life, your progress and how you value your self-worth.

 

 

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Goodbye FireFly

Warning – the following is very personal and only a handful of people on the planet know this about me. If you don’t believe in the supernatural then maybe this post is not for you.

For the majority of my life I have had a spirit/entity/ghost that has acted as semi-guide/creeper who has provided me with insights about the people around me and attempted to interject and advise on decisions I make in my life. Judging by the state of my life it is pretty safe to assume that I do not always listen or choose to hear and ignore and go on my own merry way. Why this poor thing would lump itself to me is completely beyond my understanding!

I call “it” or “him” Firefly as the first few times I saw him this was how he appeared, as a group of lights that were attempting to form a shape and it reminded me of these beautiful little beetles. I think this is possibly why I was never frightened of him.

The first night I met him was when I was about 6 or 7 years old. Our family home had just gone through a christian “purification” I still remember this husband and wife team coming over and telling my parents that there were demons hiding in the corners of the roof, that they were sitting there and they would swoop down and attack. It was one of the most frightening memories for me as a child and of course it invoked no sleep for me. My eyes would constantly dart up to the corners anytime I was scared or felt something with me in the room.

One night things were really bad, I awoke from a nightmare and opened my curtain as I heard a noise outside, I was convinced that I had seen a demon but in actual fact it was probably a bird or a confused bat who had flown into the window by mistake. I was crying and screaming and my mother came into my bed to comfort me. She sat on the end of the bed and grabbed my hand and asked angels to come down on the roof and protect us. A few seconds later she looked up to the roof and said “Do you hear that? Footsteps!” I looked up but couldn’t hear a thing.

I told my mother that I was ok and she went back to bed, I laid back into my bed, eyes wide open, still terrified out of my mind. This is when Firefly first appeared next to me, he floated in calmly and with a sense of complete coolness that instantly made me feel at ease. As he hovered next to my bed I heard a voice in my head “It is ok, everything will be ok now. Sleep” and I stretched out my hand and fell asleep instantly.

From here on in I saw him a few times over the coming years, when I met people I would get impressions of them and words that turned out later to be quite accurate. I never really thought too much about it being a child and all, but it wasn’t until later on in life that I started to realise just what this Firefly thing possibly could be.

Being the studious person I am I did all kinds of research into what this could possibly be. I found websites and personal accounts of spirits attaching themselves to people who could possibly have a “medium ability” I found stories of ghosts seeking companionship so they find people who are “open to the idea” I didn’t feel like I really fit these moulds.

Firefly was there when I decided to leave my abusive and violent relationship, he told me time and time again to leave for good this time, but little ol’ stubborn me would not listen, believing that people could change for the better. Firefly was there when I made bad choices, whispering the opposite in my ear but still stayed with me anyway, he was there when I triumphed and was overjoyed when I decided to move to Queensland because “Exciting things await you if you just go, don’t over think it, just GO!” These were his words as I contemplated the decision to move and for the first time in a long time, I listened (and boy am I glad I did!)

When I first moved I was scared and unsure about what lay ahead of me, but Firefly was with me every night that I was sitting in my sisters house on a mattress on the floor thinking about what the hell I had just done. He encouraged my confidence and bravery as I decided to finally start dating again and the second I met my current boyfriend he said these words “This is a good man, a good, good man, and you deserve a good man!” These words resonated with me, as I first met Luke and we talked and laughed, as I walked away from our first meeting words of reassurance and joy filled my head and I knew that we had just made a special connection.

At various other points in my life Firefly has interjected and offered his advice and opinions, if I asked for them or not. He has revealed things about past, present and future and acted as a semi spirit guide that I developed a relationship with. There was a time when he revealed that he was a monk in a previous life, and a warrior in another. This was revealed when several nights in a row I had horrific dreams about being attacked while I was sleeping. Fortunately it was not him attacking me, but protecting me from whatever was trying to get me that night.

Sunday night as Luke & I were talking in bed (I was a little bit intoxicated from day drinking) I told him about Firefly, it was important to me that he knew about this part of my life and he was only the third person alive to know about this. The next day I was concerned that he would think I was certifiably insane, I kept waiting for the white coats to walk down my driveway over the next few days and take me away because “my boyfriends has a voice in his head that talks to him!” I am aware of how insane this sounds!

Monday night when I arrived home, I attempted sleep, As I lay in my bed thinking about all of my encounters with Firefly, naturally he appeared. He was smiling with a solemn look in his face. He told me that he had to say goodbye, that he had taught me everything that he was sent here to teach me and that someone else needed him now. At this point I broke down, I was streaming tears and doing the “ugly cry” thing. He wished me well and told me I was on the right path and then like magic I fell asleep.

The next day I could still feel him lingering around me. I spoke to him several times during the day about something I was unsure of, a situation that I kept second guessing and he told me to stop over thinking things, stop second guessing.

Then on Tuesday night at approximately 8:45pm he left, unceremoniously departed with two words  “Be Happy” and he was gone. Wednesday I woke up for the first time without Firefly, I know that he has moved on and I have a sneaking suspicion that I know who he has moved on to (insert ominous guess here!)

So what did I learn from all this? Am I crazy? Are there voices in my head? Was this a ghost? A spirit? Divine intervention from the gods to stop my crazy life choices? Who knows! All I know is that Firefly was an important part of my journey and while it was difficult to discuss in the past, just writing about it now is helping me attempt to make sense of our crazy journey together.

So Firefly this one is for you! Thank you for the guidance, thank you for the lessons and most of all thank you for the protection. Does the supernatural exist? I do not know, but I choose to believe that whatever this thing was, it was a force of good and that can only be a good thing.

Public Affair

Anyone who knows me well, knows that my favourite author is the sublimely talented Elizabeth Gilbert. I find her so inspiring, her memoir Eat Pray Love changed my life and helped me forge my own journey (albeit not through the beauty of places like Italy, Bali or India) to self acceptance and through the pit of depression and out into the light. If you follow my Goodbye Fatty blog, you will no doubt already know all about these challenges and what I went through so you are all caught up? Great!

Liz (I hope I am allowed to call her that?) has written a fabulous new book called Big Magic, it is all about creative living beyond fear, something that speaks very expressly to me. I have been devouring this book every night, chapter by chapter, consistently fist pumping and screaming out “Yes! Yes! This so happens!” to the point of my housemates asking if I am ok in there (to which I reply with a resounding YES!). This is something that I have struggled with for so long, constantly being excited by creativity, but then fear creeps in and takes over and everything dwindles and I fall back into the black pit of “artist suffering” resolving myself to the fact that I will never be a writer or creative person.

A large part of the book explores our influences growing up and what people say to us about being creative and how this cannot lead to success (or what the world deems as successful) and I must admit that this is where probably three quarters of my fear comes from. What if I put it out there and it gets shot down? What if everyone laughs at it and it is a complete failure? What if my family read it and realise that some of this is about them? What then? This and a host of a million other questions consistently flood my mind when I start a creative project, I exhaust myself going through all of this, that I am so depleted and my creativity is completely bruised and battered, and the project slips away.

One of the ideas in the book explores making our creative projects public, this is something that I also struggle with, I have believed for the longest time that all creative work is for public consumption, otherwise how do you know if its any good? This has been my struggle this week and my realisation is this, I create because I want to create, because I make something that did not exist the day before. I do it because it get’s hold of me and I have to get it out. It doesn’t have to be a fully formed novel or script, it can be an idea with a few major plot points, and the more I dwell on it and research it, it reveals more of itself during this process. My problem is posting everything up for anyone and everyone to see before it has been attended to and coddled to produce a work worthy of creativities idea. I also do this in my personal life too and this has been a huge realisation this week, I looked back at the last few posts on here and they are deeply personal. I am posting up thoughts and events about myself and someone else I am currently involved with (hopefully still am!) and while I am an open book, he is a private person who does not necessarily want my thoughts about us and him out there for everyone to see.

When I approached the subject with him, he did listen and say that he understands why I need to write about it, and I agree to some extent that I definitely do need to write about it, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be public. So if you are reading this expecting hot and steamy details about my relationship, I am sorry to disappoint you, moving forward that is completely off the cards, I will be continuing to write about it, but it will not be something that is made for public consumption.

I feel like this is a first in a series of giant leaps forward for my creative life and I am excited about where it takes me. If you look to the left you will see a cute little cartoon that I nabbed from Liz Gilbert’s Facebook page about fear. This is a quote from Big Magic about where fear should be in the presence of our creative lives. “Fear is allowed to come along for the ride, but it is sitting in the back seat, it doesn’t get a say, it doesn’t get to navigate, it definitely does not get to take over, it does not even get to touch the radio! Instead of fighting it or conquering it, we have to work with it and acknowledge that it exists” I cannot stop reading this passage over and over and dwelling on the direction this will take my writing.

Recently I gave up playing games and dedicated that time to my writing, already in the last few weeks I have seen such a surge forward in my work, I am getting to pursue and accept so many things that I just kept on the back-burner because I was convinced that I would do these things “when the time was right”. Already this post is close to 1000 words, something that used to feel like such a chore to get out, now just seems to be flowing out of me as I open myself up to the creative process and accept that yes I am a writer, yes I am a successful creator and I have all the tools I need to do this.

If you want to listen to the Magic Lessons podcast hosted by Liz Gilbert you can subscribe here

A Change Is As Good As A Holiday

For those that do not know me personally, I have recently relocated from the stormy and cold city of Sydney, to the sunny, friendly and breathtakingly beautiful state of Queensland. An opportunity came up at work to relocate and after much soul searching (a whole 24 hours) I said yes and then it seemed as if I blinked and it was time to move.

I haven’t talked much about my time in Sydney, it was one of the most challenging and rewarding times of my life. I moved after completing a 12 week challenge that reinvigorated my body, I had dreams, I had ambition and a new job and everywhere I went it seemed like everyone around me was shitting all over it. I had one persistent and ever optimistic friend (thanks Sipple!) who encouraged me to keep going for my dreams and if it wasn’t for here I would not have experienced half of what I did in my time there.

Sydney was amazing for my Novastream website, movie premieres, gaming events, networking and connections and I found myself busying my life with this noise and surrounding myself with “things to do” that were distracting me from what was really going on inside. I had up and moved and left all of my friends behind, and instead of taking all I had learnt with me, I fell victim to what I am calling “Sydney Syndrome”, an infectious disease that I found in a lot of people I met with there.

They, like me, had moved to Sydney hoping to achieve their dreams, they had big plans, make it big, get rich, get connected enough that they could then get out and live where they wanted to and all would be right in the world. One of these people (whose name I have changed for the sake of this article) is Mike. Mike had moved here 12 months before I did, working at a low level paying office job in the CBD, a horrible boss, whose dreams had also been squashed by the city lights, he went in day and day out, 5 sometimes 6 days a week and had dreams of running a Google like empire. He had the degree, he had the connections, but the city had beaten him down, told him that too many other people were trying to do the same thing, so what is the point of trying to do it? You will try, fail and then have to come back to work here and will end up resenting yourself and life. No, no, it is easier and more rewarding if you just stick to what you know and leave that to Sundar Pichai’s of the world.

Another friend Bettina, had been living here for 6 years, she wanted to be a news reporter, and now worked in the low level administration for a television studio. She spent her days answering phones, through her window she could see the news desk and coerced with journalists and camera crew all day, sitting there longing for the job, but overtime she thought she tried, she was denied, feeling like she was always overlooked for someone younger, someone prettier so she descended into madness and monotony and decided to stick to what she knew.

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Now don’t get me wrong, this is not a trashing Sydney post, I learned so much from my time there about myself, about other people and about the world. All I will say is that it was definitely not the place for me. I do miss the coffee and the late night shopping combined with the consistent slew of events that the city just seems to pump out day and night throughout the year. Sydney will always have a fond place in my heart, it taught me a lot about myself and revealed some ugly truths that I had to face and deal with.

So where am I now? I am in Queensland, everyday is feeling like a holiday at the moment, I go to work during the day, then in the afternoons and evenings I get to explore some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet (I could possibly be biased here, just a little!) I feel like this place has defrosted me from the inside out. I am dating again, and successfully this time (I think…) work is great, my direction and purpose feel revitalised and the blocks that were stopping me are feeling further and further away. If I get bored or need inspiration I can drive to a beautiful beach, go for a walk in the golden sand, eat ice cream and go on a rollercoaster, and it’s still winter! I feel lucky and blessed to be here and I would not want it any other way.

The Truth

It has been exactly one year that the “12 week Transformation” thing happened, and I found myself reflecting all week upon it. Looking where I am now, what am I doing now, where am I at now and it all affected me. At the time I got down to 84kgs, I was starting to develop actual shaped muscles and believed that having a “good body” would make me feel good about myself, and at the time I thought this was true. Flash forward 12 months later and I actually believe the opposite, I am now 93kgs (yes 9 kilos heavier!) and I am happy.

I am happy that I don’t spend hours everyday at the gym, that I don’t spend what little time I have obsessing over every calorie I consume and what it is doing to my body. I can’t believe that I was ever so selfish and narrow minded that I thought life was about making myself look good to get the approval of other people, and this in lies the real heart of the matter. I was consistently posting “selfie updates” on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter, feeding off the likes and comments, my head swelling and turning into this gargantuan egotistical maniac fuelled by the approval of others, to feel accepted, to feel normal.

It felt like I was back in high school again and definitely not the person I had set out to be. Now before you start jumping to conclusions I met some amazing people and made life-long friendships through doing this, I do not regret what I did, but I do see the holes in it, and know that looking good is not an instant thing that will last forever, it is bloody hard work and not something to be taken lightly.

While it may sound like I am trash talking fitness and losing weight, I have made many life long friends through it, and that is something I will always be grateful for. I am as happy now as I was when I was 9 kilos lighter and that is something that surprised me. So what really does this prove? It proves that you can have be skinny and have a 6 pack if that’s what you want, I don’t want that. Sure I am still going to work on my body but I love food too much to have the “perfect” physique. I am prepared to do enough work to warrant eating burgers and fries, while not being morbidly obese, I am happy with the body I have and that is fine with me.

If you want to kickstart your body, do a 12 week challenge but be prepared to invest your money, your time, your patience for a great kickstart, but be prepared to learn maintenance work to keep the body you have gained, if not it is easy to slip back into old habits. So I guess for me the Truth is that I want working out to be a social thing, so group classes, boot camps and group training sessions are going to be my thing moving forward, it’s where I can make working out fun without being too aggressive about it and maintain my fitness.

What is your truth?

Understanding Children

I know, you just read the title and thought what would a gay man know about children? I mean until the other day, I didn’t have a full understanding of the female reproductive system and the in-depth knowledge of what happens when a girl has her period (apart from the horror movie style bleeding scenes that we love to imagine!) nearly 12 months ago my best friend had a baby, and it was such a terrifying time for me, usually in the past when friends have had babies, they morph into this monster that see single people as “sad” and “lonely” and the worst “unfulfilled because you don’t have children” So naturally I expected the same thing to happen, and while they assured me nothing would change, I was convinced it was only a matter of time.

The baby arrived and (not biased at all!) is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. She is funny and smart, with personality to boot! I always used to roll my eyes at children and think meh I could never be that interested in one, oh how wrong I was!

I already felt like a member of the family, and them having this child only accelerated it further. I can’t even describe how protective and loving I am of this child, and it didn’t even come out of me!(so I can only imagine how my friend feels about her!) All I want to do is cuddle and kiss her and wrap her up in a fuzzy pink dressing gown and have her stay that way forever!

We were at the show and I wanted to get her something for Easter that wasn’t chocolate (I am waiting till she is a little bit older, I can have her for the morning, pump her full of chocolate and send her back to Mum & Dad with a new drum kit!) and found the most precious beautiful hand made plush bunny rabbit. The stall lady wrapped it in a brown paper bag and we took it back to her. She opened the bag herself and pulled the bunny out, and the look of pure joy on her face smashed my heart and as she cuddled it to her head and smiled I am not ashamed to say I got a little teary and the love I felt in my heart-like area was unlike anything I have ever felt before. My Mum always says that Christmas isn’t the same when your kids grow up and you can’t see their faces, and I always say “Yeah yeah whatever, we are still your children, you can still buy us stuff up!” and grin at her stupidly. Now I think I understand what she means, if I could I would buy her a present  a day just to see that look on that beautiful little face, the pure joy and love from something so simple.

The day went on and on and I had that “ah-ha!” moment, this is what children are, this is what they bring that I have never understood before. So as I was walking home, the undeniable question lingered “Do you want kids?” and to be honest, it was never something that I considered to be a possibility before, I have always been that “self-involved” person so it never occurred to me that I could love anyone more than myself. But I love knowing that question is lingering and I now have a deeper understanding of what children are and why breeders (hehe) go so crazy over them.

1 Year Reflection. . .

This week I had an anniversary, it has been 1 year since I moved to Sydney and started working in the industry that I wanted to work in. Looking back when I moved here I was so full of promise, so full of hope, so excited about the future for myself and what my life would hold. It is no secret that over the last 6 months things have taken a turn. I have lost that hope, that excitement, I put on 5 kilos and have just gone back to existing. While it was happening I really had no control over it and really did not notice it until a new friend pointed this out to me (something for which I will be FOREVER grateful!)

Over the last few weeks I have reflected and considered everything that has happened in the last twelve months, re-evaluating where I have been and what I want to do, it has been a long and hard process with many lists (thanks Nicole!), phone conversations, consultations and some alone time to really for lack of a better phrase “sort my shit out” I finally hit the nail on the head.

When I moved to Sydney, I expected to learn, to grow, to get everything that a capital city could offer, what never did occur to me was the fact that I had to really do anything to get that. The good old phrase “You get back what you give out” never crossed my mind, I just expected that things would happen because of where I was and where I worked, I never thought for a second that I had to work at it and for the last 6 months I have just been sitting complacent.

A few times this has come up over the last few weeks with a few friends and I never really thought too much about it, till a new friend told me last night over our first dinner that “If you don’t work at it, Sydney will chew you up and spit you out!” and it’s true. I have not made friends here because well honestly I don’t know, I just kind of expected it to happen automatically, the same goes with work, with study, with everything and it is not the person who I wanted to be when I moved here.

I alone am responsible for what has happened and how I got to be in this position, I let myself go back and didn’t have the strength or support to stop it. I take full responsibility for this and dedicate to pulling myself out of it and getting back on track.

Today I finally finished Glee, a show that I have loved since day one, and while people may complain about the music and the direction of the show, it was always amazing to me. The message of the show REALLY shone through in the last season that Glee is about opening yourself up to joy and my favourite line from the show “See the world not as it is, but as it should be.” This is something that I am really going to try and live by moving forward, it is so easy to get bogged down in the worries of the world and other people’s emotions, and it is something that I know I am really susceptible to and have only just discovered this.

I also spent today reading back my previous posts and wanting to get back to that person, and while I can never be “that person” again, I can be someone with more experience, more information and more self aware than I was before. I do not know what the future holds for me, but I know what I have to do to shape it to be how I want it to be and how it ultimately should be.

This week I start training again, with a trainer and I am so excited about getting some motivation back into the fitness area of my life. I have been cutting back my portion sizes this last couple of weeks and this has been a challenge in itself.

It has been such a difficult couple of months and while the whole thing was escalating I never really knew what was happening, I just thought I was having a bad day, or bad week and let it go over to the next week. But now I have a grand plan, a short term and long term plan with a checking system to make sure I don’t head back into this place again. From here on in I just have to take it day by day.

Motivation

So the holidays are over and my birthday is looming closer and closer. (AH! The dreaded over 30’s birthdays) I find myself having “rewarded” myself over the holidays a little too much, and the gym sessions declined to a whole week of nothing, that’s right NOTHING and it was pure fucking bliss. I ate what I wanted, I played video games for hours on end, ate bread with no guilt whatsoever and desert! OH DESERT HOW I MISSED YOU! I gorged on Drumsticks, Puddings, Cakes, Profiteroles and Messina!

I took a week off working out and felt like absolute shit, Like complete and utter crap, I felt slow and tired, I was grumpy living off a constant trans fat high and I was begging to go back to the gym and eat better (well the last part…sort of…) It really showed me just how far I  have come, if you had told me this time last year that I would be craving going to the gym and not eating and playing video games, I would have laughed in your face and called you crazy.

I went back to the gym today and worked so hard, I poured all of my energy and frustrations over my “week off” into my workout and was so happy with the results. Yes I am exhausted, Yes I am a little cranky at my small portion dinner of chicken and brocolli, but I am happy and knowing that 2015 is the year that I will lose ALL of my gut and have defined abs. It is a hard goal to want, but I know I can do it and it all starts with what I do now.

So my birthday is now less than a week away and I have a goal, along with my things to do this year and some other prospects that I can’t say too much about at the moment, things are looking up in 2015, I know that this year I have to DOUBLE the energy, double the effort, double the enthusiasm and passion for life that I had in 2014, and while a lot of it is physical, it really is just a state of mind.

If you are lacking motivation at this most auspicious time of year, don’t let it run dry, don’t do the new year new me thing and get bogged down in the same business that will stop you from becoming the best version of yourself, because above all else, you owe yourself that life.

65 Things in 2015 *UPDATED!

So i stole this from my friend Troy Lampier. I love the idea of making a list of things to do and ticking them off as you go along! So in 2015 I will attempt to complete every task on this list, keep checking back as I will update with pics when they are complete! I hope you all had a great new year!

They are:
1. Travel overseas at least twice.
2. Live in two cities at once for at least 6 months – DONE! (Sydney & Gold Coast!)
3. Walk the entire length of beach from Nobbys to Merewether at least once.( DONE!)

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Walk done with Levi!


4. Do the Q1 tower walk on the Gold Coast
5. Give away $100 to a random person for no reason at all.
6. Go rock climbing for the first time.
7. Go skydiving at least once.
8. Sing into a microphone, in public (DONE!)
9. Go vegetarian for at least one month. (Officially backing out of! Seriously, what was I thinking?)
10. Pick up a hitchhiker
11. Get another tattoo
12. Complete twelve pull-ups in one go (DONE!)
13. Get a photo of myself at the Big Banana.

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14. Get a photo of myself at the Big Pineapple. (DONE!)

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15. Visit the War Memorial in Canberra.
16. Dance with my shirt off at a dance party.
17. Finish the horror short story
18. Learn French.
19. See a shooting star or meteor shower.
20. Try drinking juice (DONE!)
21. Be able to plank for 5 minutes
22. Bake and decorate a cake.
23. Go a whole month without eating any burgers or fries (I doubt this will EVER happen!)
24. Go on a hot air balloon ride
25. Make an item of clothing and wear it.
26. Finish my first trilogy novel
27. Finish my goddamn degree (I have started UNI again!)
28. Buy something online and have it posted to a friend for no reason.
29. Go camping (NOT glamping!)
30. Grown my beard for a month without clippering it.
31. Write a poem that is at least 3 pages long
32. Try kiwi fruit (I still can’t do it!)
33. Go swimming at a beach in winter ( I did this in QLD so it still counts!)
34. Go to a horse race (Ethical reasons are making me not want to do this!)
35. Eat at a vietnamese restaurant (Done!)
36. Eat a meal at a revolving restaurant
37. Visit Cradle Mountain, Tasmania
38. Go tenpin bowling (Done! Thanks Luke)
39. Jump on a trampoline
40. Buy flowers for someone I love
41. Go to a drive-in in every state of Australia
42. Eat a tropical fruit that I have never tried before
43. Ride a motorbike
44. Make out with someone in the back seat of my car
45. Visit Australia Zoo in QLD (I have heard it’s lame so I might alter this one)
46. Visit Taronga Zoo in Sydney
47. Ride a rollercoaster (DONE! So many times!) 

superman
48. Go fishing
49. Give a busker $100 (Done! And I cried and he cried)
50. Go skinny dipping on a beach
51. Make a piece of public art and leave it somewhere public
52. Grow and maintain a herb garden at home
53. Eat a Yorkshire Pudding
54. Make a loaf of bread (no cheating!)
55. coffee

Switch to Decaf Coffee…yeah this was NEVER going to happen
56. Complete an online course
57. Do a nude photo shoot
58. Walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge (DONE!)
59. Get my passport
60. Do the BVH with Kale
61. Leave flowers at the grave of someone I don’t know
62. Learn to swim properly

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63. LOVE more!


64. Read an autobiography (Done!)
65. Write a song and perform it online.

Intro – New Beginnings

Intro – New Beginnings

After the closing of my weight loss and body image challenge I needed to take this in a new direction. I have recently started dating actual men again and thought that this was the right time for a project that has been on the back burner for a few years now. Everytime I try and recreate it, it just never works, but I feel that this is the right time, so without any further ado here we go!

Prologue

“The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.”  Voltaire

Let me start by saying that I am not a relationship expert, I don’t have a degree in psychology, I am not a therapist I like to think of myself as more of a self-appointed relationship coach. The advice contained in this blog is a guide inspired by real people and real events. I am not bitter, not all relationships are bad, I am merely using this as a means of sharing what I have learnt about relationships, specifically gay one’s and provide a “how to survive” guide as best as I can.

Relationships are tough, in particular gay relationships, I don’t know if it is because of the years of affliction we as a people have suffered, or the completely unrealistic expectations we place on ourselves and of those around us. It is something that has been shown in movies, books, on TV, songs are mainly about relationships and if we are talking country songs bad relationships. It seems that everyone everywhere wants to talk about relationships but there is one type of relationship that we do not get to look too deep into. The Gay relationship, specifically man to man. Most men I know that are straight are under the impression that there is always a man that is the man and man that is the woman, naturally they assume the more feminine acting man is branded the girl and like most assumptions this is rarely the case. Gay relationships are as every bit complex as a straight couple’s. Sure and let’s be 100% here gay men have a lot more sex than straight men and it is no secret that a high sex drive comes built in to us males and is something that we can rarely avoid. The following is a description of events, people and places that have nurtured these relationships and have allowed me to look at each of them thoroughly and draw my own personal conclusions from there.

I chose Voltaire’s statement as I not only love it, there is something about it that just grabs me, I am in a constant state of “know nothingness” and while this has allowed me to have a very open mind, I often find it puts me in the place of being in constant contrast to nearly every other person on the planet. When I was younger I grew up with people in groups. My family were very strict penticostal christians, we weren’t even allowed to watch certain Disney movies (The Little Mermaid because of the sea witch, Aladdin it had magic and said Alla, The Lion King because it had a witchdoctor, and so like any other normal child when everyone is doing something that you are not allowed to do, we would sneak over for sleep overs and binge on them at our friends house (yes youth’s of today, binging existed before Netflix and DVD box sets!) Anyway I digress, everyone was segregated into groups in my childhood, the christians, the secular non-believers, family, friends, school, teachers, leaders and my memory of this is that all of these people held a similar opinion about the world, you knew if you went to a certain person who fit into a certain group they would have an identical or similar opinion and you knew who you would go to for certain things. Spiritual guidance could be found in leaders at the church, bullying and schoolwork issues could be helped by teachers, friends would play games of Super Mario Bros. or Sonic The Hedgehog with you, in between hurtling down the slip and slide on long hot summer days, everything had its place and worked neatly.

Then I left the family home and discovered that these little groups that had existed in my head, these perfect enclaves of beings was a childhood fantasy, a safety mechanism in order to keep things safe. I had to leave the folly of childhood behind as I found out, unfortunately not too quickly, that not everyone is honest. I was used to taking people at face value, trusting judgement from my parents that had already been made for me, I had no society or friend filter and found myself being taken advantage off easily. It took me several years to build up even a small level of street smarts and now at the grand age of 30 I think I finally have my shit figured out.

What I have learned is that every person on this planet is actually different, we say one thing and think another, unless you were born with no filter like I was, where you say what’s on your mind without hesitation and this is both a blessing and a curse. As a result I do not fit in with the corporate types, or the “classy” types that have to dress up to go to dinner while sitting in a posh restaurant with 8 forks, or the socially appropriate conversations just don’t wash with me, and also as a direct result of this I am not great at small talk. I actually despise it, pleasantries, general chit chat annoys me to no end, I like to get to the crux of the discussion and really have a good long hard talk about it, rather than say the weather, traffic or “local/popular sports team” I used to find this really frustrating as I found it really hard to fit in when I was in these circles, but when I discovered that this was a trait I got from my nan and my aunty I relished in it, knowing that it was ok for me to be this way, and it didn’t mean I was strange or odd. My mother is the complete opposite of me, she is bubbly, bright, outgoing, could get a conversation from a dead tree in 20 seconds if she tried, she could talk underwater and has no hesitation making general chit chat with anyone in public. I used to be so envious of this ability, it was always something that I desired so I tried to force myself to do it and realised that there was no possible way to make it seem sincere so I agreed that I should always be myself, because that is the only and best person I can be for myself and the world.

So what is this? This is a blog about my experiences in the hope that anyone having relationship or identity issues can find some solace in these words, but mostly this is for me. This started out as a book, then a tv show, then a book again and now hopefully a blog. I find joy in spending time with people, observing them, interacting with them and it is from here that I draw my conclusions in a very non Carrie Bradshaw-esque way I hope. It should also be noted that I have changed the name of every single person I have interacted with and observed for obvious reasons, except for Nicole Lawler, who is to this day and will always be, the most amazing, the most lovely, the most brave, the most inspiring person on this planet to me, as everyone should know just how important and incredible this woman is. With that I now bring this introduction to a close and hope you will come back for the next chapter in which I hope to explain just exactly who I am and how I got to be here and why it took me to 31 to get my shit together. As much as this blog is about me, it is also about my experiences and relationships in this world that have helped challenge, shape and mould my opinions of the world.