Day One-Hundred-and-Forty-Eight: Don’t be afraid to reconnect

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Source: shoeboxblog.com
But maybe they’re not as inarticulate and annoying in person, right?

There’s a spot on my floor, about the width of two tiles, that is noticeably warmer than the rest of the floor. I only notice it in the evening, when the weather cools, and the tiles take on a (sometimes welcome) chill. On my journey from the kitchen to the bedroom–usually with some food item in my hand/mouth–it gives me pause.

My boyfriend and I have discussed it. We’re not sure of the cause. Probably some pipe or power source running under there. Or our downstairs neighbours have a small heater on their roof. I like to think it’s a posh floor-heating mechanism that was partially installed during building, then scrapped when the owners found out how much it would cost (and how ridiculous it is to have a heated floor in Brisbane).

And what, you may be yelling at your monitor, is the fucking point of this story?

Well, it’s been 28 days since my last drink…err, post. For reasons that are clear only to the monkey who drives my brain, I felt like it was time to reconnect.

And that’s all it takes, right? Just a small thing to start a conversation, and get things rolling again.

I was talking to someone the other day about whether it would be weird for them to reach out to old friends and suggest a catch up. Now, I’m no well of wisdom (actually, the only thing I can say with any certainty that I’m a well of is blood and urine), but it seems to me that in this new-fangled age of Facebook and Twitter and all that self-broadcasting shit, reconnecting with people is as easy as liking a post or getting involved in an in-status debate about Tony Abbott. (Well, that’s if you think making sense of a plethora of poorly-formed sentences hurling abuse at bloody Labor/LNP/Juliar/Clive “Dat’s a Huuuuge Bitch” Palmer is easy.) The point is that striking up a dialogue has never been so simple and non-stalkerish.

For example:

Your high-school buddy posts a status about how fucking good Meaty’s Steak Emporium and Barbeque Palooza is. You’ve been to Meaty’s and you can totally attest to its jizz-inducing deliciousness. (You have the stains to prove it.) Why not post a casual “OMG I KNOW RIGHT LOL” and see what happens? Maybe you guys can go to Meaty’s together some time and eat ribs until you’re more pig-meat than man. Trade “What I’ve Been Doing with My Life” stories over a stack of buffalo wings. I don’t fucking know; it’s not my job to plan your meat-ups (ha!).

(By the way, if I open a steakhouse, I will call it Meaty’s Steak Emporium and Barbeque Palooza, so if you open one before I do and steal this name–thanks for reading!– I will hunt you down.)

What I’ve realised, through the magic of self-examination, is that nobody is going to react in a negative way when you attempt reconnect with them. (Unless you were a total c**t in school. I can’t help you there.) If you’re worried about looking like a desperate weirdo contacting old friends, think about it this way: if you got a nice message from an old mate, wondering what you were up to, and suggesting a catch-up, how would you feel? Warm and fuzzy, probably. You’re very unlikely to laugh derisively and delete their message. (Unless you are the the aforementioned c**t. God, you truly are a dick.) In fact, provided that the message doesn’t begin with “I wish to have tell you about the joys of Islam” (an actual Facebook message I received–please know that I am prejudiced against all religions equally), you’re probably going to be pleasantly surprised and happy to hear from them. Nostalgia is a powerful thing. (I’m not saying that you wouldn’t also be interested in the joys of Islam.)

I have friends whom I can go months without seeing. When they pop up on my radar again, or I swing them an “it’s been too damn long”, there’s no recriminations for the lack of contact, no raised eyebrows and WTFs, just a genuine keenness to meet up and talk shit about life (and eat, usually).

And yes, I get that sometimes people from our past are best left there, and you’ll probably hear a lot of “we should totally catch up some time” bullshit before you actually end up doing the thing, but, like an old friend once chided me, you’re never going to meet anyone if you don’t get out there. (I appreciated the message, but it’s totally not true. They could come to my house. And what with home-delivered groceries and the wonders of the internet, I could conceivably never leave the confines of my apartment. Or wear pants.)

Sometimes *cue sad, reflective music* you’ll hang out with someone again only to realise that your lives have diverged so obviously that you no longer share any common ground. You’ll sit opposite them in a cafe, smiling awkwardly and trying to react in a casual and interested way to the idea of a competitive all-male knitting club, and you’ll know that your future interactions will be limited to a ‘like’ and maybe a “sick cardigan, bro” here and there. The awesome (and terrifying) thing about the world is that it’s full of people, a good proportion of whom are statistically likely to share your interests. Expand your circles (not an advertisement for Google+). Old friends have new friends, who can be your friends too if you reconnect with the old friends. Friend poaching!

So, reach out or don’t. Whatever. The door is never closed (unless you’re in prison)(especially if you’re in prison for stalking and murdering former friends).

 

Good to see you.

We should definitely catch up some time.

TB

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Day Twenty-Five: Choose life, not chores

Since today is Sunday and is meant to be a day of rest and all that, I shall present a short and picture-heavy depiction of today (the one day off I’ve had this week).

 

This is what adult me should have done today:

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I do often give myself a list of 15 tasks and attempt to do them all at once (and my feet are pretty dexterous), but essentially what this picture is saying is that I probably should have used today to give the house a vacuum, wipe down the sinks, scrub the toilets, and maybe chuck on a load of washing.

 

Here’s what I did instead:

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I don’t sleep in that much anymore. There’s always some reason that I must be up at a specific time (even if it’s to go and do something fun and relaxing). Today was different. I didn’t even bother with an alarm. I just snoozed until my hunger became so overpowering that I had to get up. Sleeping in all the time makes you pretty sluggish, so just enjoying it when you can makes it all the more special–especially when you and your partner manage to score the day off.

(Also, I realise after a closer look at this picture that it uses ‘advise’ where it should use ‘advice’. Because it’s my day off, I’m going to let it slide. Also, I really don’t want to spend time finding another picture.)

 

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I’m not much of a gamer–questionable hand-eye-coordination, performance stress, easily frustrated by constant failure–but today, instead of jumping straight on the laptop to do whatever it is that I think I have to do to be productive, I powered up a different device. My boyfriend just got us a game called The Cave. It’s an adventure game because, bless him, he knows that I am just no good at running, jumping, shooting, fighting games. I spent a good hour or so testing my brain with story puzzles and reacquainting myself with the basic controls of a Playstation. Could I have been doing something more useful for my future/the world at large? Probably. Was I happy and relaxed? Oh, yes. Taking one for Sunday!

 

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The juice is supposed to be an ‘every day’ thing, aimed at pumping me full of the nutrition of a full salad in one small glass, but it ends up being a day-off luxury instead. This means that every day off simply must contain a healthy green concoction. Today was a combination of lots of leafy veg and a little bit of fruit, which came out in a colour that would make Kermit the Frog jealous. I wonder what my insides look like after guzzling this goodness. I hope they’re smiling (or performing the internal organ equivalent of a smile).

 

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After a nice shower (not pictured, sorry fellas), the boyfriend and I set off on a bus to the city. We took a magical trek through the streets of Brisbane, avoided getting rained on by about five minutes, and spent the afternoon and evening with his workmates, farewelling two of his colleagues. It probably wasn’t as good as Homer’s night–we did dance around a maypole but I remember the events on either side–but for those few hours I completely forgot about whatever it was that I thought I had to do today, and just enjoyed the company and the view (overlooking the river, with multi-coloured lights on the bridge when night fell).

 

Attending to your adult responsibilities like cleaning is important, and I’m not suggesting that every minute not spent at work should be spent sleeping, lazing, juicing, or socialising, but every now and then it’s OK to just do whatever the hell you feel like. After all, what’s the point of working most of the week, only to spend every other moment working at home? Days off aren’t just for catching up on everything you ‘really must’ do, they’re for recharging your soul and doing things that make you happy.

 

I’m off to wash the juicer now–but only because I feel that it will truly fulfill me.

 

TB

Day Sixteen: Why getting dressed makes my heart race

ImageYou know what would look good with this?

Fire.

 

In two hours, I’m going out.

“So what?” you ask, wondering why you’re even reading this and how you can sneak away without my noticing.

Me going out (and by going out, I mean dressing and leaving the house in order to engage in a social gathering) is kind of a big deal. I did the whole clubbing thing when I was eighteen. I lasted less than six months before I was sick of being broke, hungover, and forced to apologise to several people every weekend. Plus, I really dislike loud music. Weird, given that I’m a musician, but I don’t particularly like the vague buzz you get inside your head after a big night listening to ‘club beatz’ blasted at 4 billion decibels.

The problem I face with going out isn’t with being outside or engaging in conversations, or even the effort it takes to get there. The real problem is figuring out what clothing will be dressed up enough that the cops don’t pick me up and offer me food, but not so dressed up that I’m directed to a wedding reception when I enter a venue. I should mention here that I am bad at fashion. It’s not that I don’t want to look good, and I definitely get by–heck, sometimes I even wing a stylish combo. But pushing the boundaries and letting my ‘inner style run free’ are not things I’m very adept at.

To give you an example, I will stand in front of my wardrobe for five to ten minutes before any ‘dressing session’ just staring at the clothes. I’m not sure whether I’m willing them spring into fashionable formation, or just trying to make sense of the cluttered mess. This is ten minutes without even touching the clothes. Sometimes I’ll get a bolt of inspiration. Suddenly, I’ll know exactly what I should throw on. Nine times out of ten, the vision in my head does not match the reality. The skirt that I thought would look super hot with the embellished singlet? Fugly. The pleather pants that were going to match perfectly with the button up blouse? Not even a chance. The issue seems to be that I don’t know my wardrobe well enough to remember how things look when they’re on my body (and, more importantly, how they look together).

My best friend once came over and gave me a styling session (which, on a side note, is actually really useful and something I highly recommend). She looked at my wardrobe for a while, just like I always do, and then started grabbing things and moving them.

“Whatcha doin’?” I asked her, unsure whether I should help or just stay the hell out of the way.

“Organising your wardrobe by colour,” she said. I’d had them organised by type–dresses together, tops together, millions of jackets that I wear for one week a year because I live in Brisbane together.

When I moved out, I took my newly organised wardrobe with me. (If you’re interested, I filled three large suitcases and two large wicker baskets.) Since cramming everything into my much smaller apartment wardrobe I’ve come to loathe getting dressed. Apart from the fact that my clothes are now spread across two wardobes–don’t judge me–I am just not prepared to wrestle with the ‘dressing up’ demons.

“Why don’t you just pull everything out, and we’ll go through and see what goes with what?” my friend asked when she was styling me.

I looked at her like she’d just called my mother a crack-whore.

You see, I don’t like disorder. Even my own messes are repulsive to me. So, the thought of ‘just experimenting’ with several different outfits (and thus leaving my room and wardrobe resembling an explosion in an op-shop) makes me quiver with fear. I use visualisation as an attempt to circumvent the necessity of removing any clothing from the ‘drobe, but as I mentioned, it’s never quite enough. It’s embarrassing how many times I’ve sunk to the bed in despair and considered calling in sick to a party/event/work because I look and feel like a pillow stuffed with rats. Somebody once told me that what you wear should make you feel amazing and confident. Something tells me that that person had shares in a high-end clothing company.

Uniforms are a blessing. The most exhausting part of finding a full-time white-collar job for me will be the daily battle with the wardrobe. Can’t wear the same thing more than twice a month. (Everyone else’s rule is probably once a month, but I just can’t deal with that.) Must look corporate and professional while still expressing your inner creativity and staying true to yourself (or something?). I’ve always hoped that people don’t notice what I’m wearing–unless I’ve actually had a good day and landed on outfit gold. It happens about as often as Halley’s comet drops by; I should take photos to remind myself that it is possible.

The real key is time, and lots of it. With two hours (no, shit, more like one now, argh!) I can approach my wardrobe at a leisurely pace, take deep breaths, and methodically work out an outfit that says, “hey world, I’m not totally inept at fashion”.

Wish me luck!

 

TB