I’m flying to Europe in 9 days and have found myself stressed out by all the things I have to do before I leave … until I noticed my to do list includes tasks like:
- have a haircut
- buy a parka
- book wine tour for France
… then I don’t feel stressed at all. In fact, I feel like this:
I recently found an essay I wrote at the age of 13 entitled “When I’m 30, I expect that…” and given that I’m turning 22 in a week I think it’s about time I reassessed my goals so that I can get back on the track my adolescent self would have wanted. Here is the piece, unedited, for you to read so that you may join me in a retrospective chuckle.
When I’m 30 I expect that I will be greatly enjoying my life. I would like to be continuing with most of the things I do now and be exploring a few more possibilities.
When I’m thirty I would expect to have finished any uni courses I have taken and would like to have a profession in law, medicine or science medicine. I would like to have a high position in this job and I would like it to be a high salary job.
At 30 I would still like to be playing sport and regularly exercising. I would like to be keeping up with my basketball and would also like to join a gym which I could attend regularly.
In the family situation I would like to have a wife and possibly one child. I would like to live in Kew if it is still as great as it is now with its great recreational areas, fantastic location and good houses. If I was not to live in Kew I would live in or near Blackburn as it is where I grew up. I would like to own a beach house in Queensland at the Gold Coast or in Barwon Heads as they are two places [where] I have grown up and visited many times before.
When I am 30 I would like to have travelled practically the world. Some places would have included Italy and the rest of Europe, Britain, Asia and Africa. America is another place I would like to revisit and so is Egypt.
In 17 years time I expect that I will still love the arts like dancing, acting, singing as well as the creative genre. I would like to be involved in an acting company that puts on musicals. I would like this company to be a good and well-known one that put their shows on at popular places such as the Regent Theatre and the Princess Theatre. As this goes on I would like to move into TV and film. I would start as just an extra and slowly move up into bigger and better things. This is one of my biggest dreams.
I expect I would still have the same qualities I have now. I think that I would still like leadership and having responsibilities. I think I will still like to be good in the work and scholar genre but I would be able to improve in the sporting genre. [I think I must have just learnt what ‘genre’ was.]
Other than having a good job and fulfilling great dreams I would also like to help people. I would either like to work in an organisation that helps people or I could do it individually.
So these are the main points I would like to have achieved or would have expected to achieved. I don’t think that any of them are too outrageous or unreachable, and I don’t think that any of them are false, but life’s like a roller coaster, you never know what’s going to happen next.
Last year I published some New Year’s resolutions and failed at almost all of them - I did not read 40 books (instead I saw a lot of films and theatre), I did not have a meat-free day every week and I didn’t cull my Facebook Friends list. On average I watched more than one film a week, but can’t decide if this is something to be proud of.
Saying that I feel that I did a pretty good job living in accordance with my first resolution and that is the most important (and Lifetime Movie-like).
Resolution 1: Only go out of the way to please yourself. Don’t do anything detrimental to yourself for other people’s sake.
In addition, for all the fuss I made about not setting a diet/exercise/weight-related resolution, I ended up losing 25 kilos by dieting and exercising. Who knew counting calories and, after giving that up six months later, running 5k three times a week could have such an impact? (Answer: most people.)
Other highlights in 2012 included:
- Camping with my family and friends at Cape Paterson for Easter, something I usually miss.
- Graduating from a Bachelor Degree of Journalism.
- Starting an internship with Melbourne Writers Festival, ending a stressful period of having all applications ignored/declined.
- Starting a “real” job in marketing with one of my dream employers. Seven months later and I still can’t quite believe I’m working there. I never want it to end.
- Attending some very memorable entertainment events - from a last minute decision to attend Lady Gaga’s concert, to meeting Danielle de Niese after her show, to Robert Lepage’s 9-hour theatrical epic Lipsynch.
- A two week trip to Thailand with family and friends (a group of 15 in total). Despite being my usual cynical self pre-trip, I had a whole lot of fun. I can’t wait for our future trips together.
- Meeting new people in new circles.
- A trip to Queensland to see my family for Christmas.
- Finishing the year with cool people and good music again at Falls Festival.
I’m sure I’ve forgotten to mention some of the other things that made 2012 so great. 2012 has left me in a really good place and for that reason I have not set any distinct resolutions for 2013. Instead, I think I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing - see some more films, read some more books, attend some more theatre, focus more on my health, cull some more Facebook friends and continue having fun with those friends I’m close to.
2013, I’m ready.
On the way home from a night out clubbing, something I don’t do very often. I danced a lot, drank a bit, was told to stop drinking and have some water by security, kissed one girl and had one guy who was the year above me at high school tell me “No more drinks, Joe” and kiss me on the neck. Does this classify as a good or a bad night out? All I know is that it’s 3am and I could have watched at LEAST five or six episodes of Murder, She Wrote by now. Oh, and I didn’t get Maccas. I was promised Maccas.
High quality blogging here guys. This is the kind of stuff you follow me for, right?
I’m feeling a bit like the Subway guy after trying on my suit pants for an upcoming engagement party. I have dropped 7 inches from my waistline in the last six months (I think the pants were a little too big to begin with) and my old suit, purchased five years ago, fits better today than it did when I wore it to my Year 11 formal. A little disappointed that I only got to wear my new suit twice, but estactic with a physical sign of my weight loss.
I was going to do my own Subway guy style photo, but unfortunately the effects aren’t extreme enough to look impressive on camera, and I’m sitting here with a lemon tart on my desk.
Today I started Couch to 5k and didn’t die. In fact, I’m super upbeat right now.
I’m seeing at least 15 shows this month (I really do love Melbourne in festival season). This makes me happy as it is. However I just realised that included in this line-up are house seats to see Elaine Paige in concert and then An Evening with Stephen Sondheim. If my tumblr becomes a succession of posts along the lines of “i3hrerqiuytoiqv3ty4i3q4yr”, you now know why.
This morning I arrived back in chilly Melbourne after two weeks relaxing in Patong, Phuket, Thailand with my family and two other families we have been holidaying with since before I was born. I originally intended to blog enough to keep a running commentary of my experiences but seemed to lack time and a consistently reliable internet connection. My travel diary was just as much of a failure, only lasting five days into the trip.
So I’ve decided I will post a photo for each day with a short list of some daily highlights. While this may inform any interested readers as to my adventures over the past couple of weeks, it will hopefully act as a personal reminder of my trip.
Today I started packing for my Thailand trip and went to try on my old summer clothes. This is an annual task that I dread and the fact that it had to come sooner this year just seemed plain mean. It’s when I start to notice that the pair of shorts I liked wearing loosely last year now fit well, the pair that fit well are a squeeze, and the ones that were a squeeze I throw back into my wardrobe in anger. I end up standing in front of a mirror pinching and prodding myself, insulting myself, glaring at my unhappy reflection. It’s when I promise to start dieting. I end up going to the gym four times in the next three days. I’ll start eating ridiculously small portions, or working out how I can skip meals.
However, this time was different. Today I went to try on a pair of grey shorts that were my favourite last year when they fit well, loose but not loose enough to need a belt. I held my breath as I pulled them over my wide hips and tried not to look in the mirror. As I zipped up the fly and buttoned them up I gasped. They were falling down at the back. As I let them go, they fell to my hips, resting for a second, before a few steps towards the mirror caused them to fall to my ankles. I ripped them off and grabbed another pair, then another, all with the same result. I pulled out the piles of unfolded clothes on my bottom shelf, the rejects from last year’s fitting. There in the corner was a scrunched up pair of shorts that I had worn at the end of Year 11 on my Malaysian Study Tour. The next year they hadn’t fit me and in a hormonal rage I had thrown them there and never looked at them again, knowing it was unlikely they’d fit. I slipped on the three quarter length shorts from 2006, in all their skate/surf dude glory and they fit. They weren’t falling off, but they fit. I ended up wearing those shorts and my cast shirt from a school production of The Pajama Game for the rest of the afternoon. You couldn’t have knocked the smile off my face if you tried.
I feel guilty blogging about this now as I’ve always been a firm believer that weight doesn’t matter, that is unless it’s severely affecting your health. While I never felt comfortable in my body, I was never pining to lose weight either. However today I felt happy with my own shape, something I haven’t experienced in a long time, probably since Year 9 when I somehow adopted the nickname ‘Fatty’.
There’s still a while to go. If I went to a doctor today they’d tell me I was overweight and probably frown at me. There’s no way I’ll be buying a slim cut top tomorrow at the shops, and I’m still self-conscious about my love handles (which aren’t so lovely). I don’t plan to swim without a top while away over the next two weeks. But there’s one change that I have noticed, and it isn’t the stronger jaw line or smaller sizes I’m ordering on ASOS, it’s in my confidence. I don’t find myself gripping at my jacket to cover my belly or hiding my neck in a scarf when in public. On the train this afternoon I made eye contact with the person sitting opposite me. She smiled, not as a way of flirting or anything, more of a gesture of recognition. Usually I’d grab at my coat and cover myself up, turning red as I fixed my hair and looked away, ashamed someone managed to catch me in my natural state. Today I smiled back and returned to reading my book, calm and collected and happy. They say it’s the small things that count and I’m finally seeing that.
tl;dr: I’m in a good mood and blogged my feelings in a gushy and mostly unreadable way.
My pay was sitting there innocently in my bank account, my wish list was growing, and then to make it worse my inbox was suddenly filled with special offers. So here’s the result:
- An Evening with Stephen Sondheim
- South Pacific
- Hahn-Bin’s Till Dawn Sunday
- We’re Gonna Die (with Young Jean Lee)
- Schaubühne Berlin’s modern adaptation of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People
Goodbye money, hello theatre. So far this year I’m averaging 1.5 shows per week and I am so very happy.
Then Victorian Opera just announced Sunday in the Park with George, Malthouse Theatre released a fairly killer season, I still haven’t booked for Opera Australia’s 2013 Season and there’s stillA Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Melbourne Fringe and Melbourne International Arts Festival shows left to book!
PS: If any of my Melburnian peeps out there ever want to see something please tell me because I am seeing all five of the shows I booked today alone (which I don’t mind, but sometimes I need to express my show-related feelings with someone post-performance).