Why I fucking hate my birthday…

It’s that time of the year again.

The celebration of my birthday.

The actual worst time of the year from me.

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Despite the grinch-like sentiment, I can’t remember the last time I looked forward to this day. Memories are filled with childhood anticipation, parties that ended in tears and – as I grew up – the overwhelming reminder each year that I’m far more sensitive than I care to acknowledge every day.

My birthday is my most emotionally irrational day. I care when people forget, despite my adult approach of ‘its not a big deal’, ‘who cares’ and ‘it’s just another day’.

It is a showcase of those who I expected to remember and who did, those I hoped would remember and who didn’t, those randoms who remembered because social media reminded them, those older friends who have it in their calendar and those family members who essentially own a card factory and sweetly never forget anyone (bless their cotton socks).

The day stings every year. God forbid I go as far as to have a party.

I didn’t plan an 18th or a 21st. My parents forced a 21st on me, that I eventually invited friends to on the day of – because I REALLY wasn’t into it.

My 30th is next week, and I’ve planned a SMALL party for tomorrow and the anxiety is real. What if no-one comes and I’m left feeling irrelevant?

What if people don’t come because they have better things to do? It’ll sting like it did at my 6th birthday when my mum arranged a private room at the local pool. We had snacks, balloons and a sectioned off portion of the pool – and no-one came. It turned out someone else had their birthday on the same day and everyone went there instead.

I suppose, all these years later, I can’t shake that feeling of rejection. The feeling of rejection that now veils my birthday every year. That sting that lands every time I have any expectations around this day. I’d rather treat it like any other day and be happy with anything better than a normal day.

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I’m not great at remembering others birthdays either, and it seems I’ve been infecting others with the rejection I felt, unintentionally. It took years of active effort to care/remember other peoples birthdays and make them feel special – its still an active fight against an internal wound, every time I choose to do it.

To anyone out there who I’ve hurt by not remembering their special day – I’m sorry, it wasn’t you, it was me.

I’m not a birthday person, not sure I even will be.

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Election Ignorance: Why should you care about the 2019 federal election?What difference does it make?

Last night I spent the evening at my boyfriends house, enjoying food and chats with him and his housemate.

One way or another the topic came up.

“Who do you support in this election?”

I blankly stared back as I replied, “In a twist of irony, despite my degree in political science, I don’t follow Australian Politics, and as such, I have zero idea about any of the parties and/or their policies.” (or something to that effect)

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What followed was a surprising, enlightening and eye opening discussion around why I should care, how easy it is to identify some sense of association and what happens if I choose to turn a blind eye to it all.

In an effort to summarise the poignant points, I have paraphrased my learnings below:

  1. Donkey voting, blind voting and/or un-researched voting can result in electing parties (directly or indirectly through the preferential system) who go against the things that matter to me.

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  2. Being mindful of the preferential system. Once you’ve decided to allocate your vote to someone, be mindful of who you’ve selected after them and where your vote could potentially be allocated. If you’re supporting smaller parties, it’s important to know that it is likely they won’t achieve a 50% support rating, and thus they will move to your second preference and allocate it there, and so on until a clear 50% is reached. So knowing the preferred system of allocation for your smaller party is a good place to start.

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  3. Know what you stand for. If the environment is important to you – as it is to me – know who stands with those beliefs, and how your voting preferences can best support those policies via your voted preferences. Go to your local candidates webpage to view their preferred voting order.

I know it can get overwhelming with all the advertising materials, and all the potential policies people want to push on you as important. If you’re struggling to align with a party, think about the bigger issues each party stands for, and see which fits you best.

Links to their policies/beliefs below:

There are many others available in certain areas, the above is just an initial snapshot.

Who you put on your ballot form, decides for the next 4 years which direction this country goes, what we care about as a nation and what we support and fund.

I’ve heard someone say that no-one really cares who’s in parliament until you’re in direct conflict with its policies. Don’t wait until it’s too late to do something, invest a few minutes of your time into discovering who’s about what before heading to the polls tomorrow.

For me, this planet matters. Her resources are finite, and time is running out. Though I may not live to see her demise, the idea that we are the last generation to live as comfortably as we do is frightening. If this is the pinnacle of human existence and we are responsible for a Frank Herbert style ending, I know I don’t want to be a part of the people who did nothing.

Your vote matters, more than you know.

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Resumes, Cover Letters & Job Listings, Oh My! A How-To Guide on Obliterating Your Tolerance for the Job Market

Last night, at 1am-ish, I began applying for new jobs.

I’m heading overseas in July and would ideally like to find something to get me through until I return late August.

Much easier said than done I’m afraid.

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It seems every job worth having wants you to write a customised cover letter, and I’m mindful – as someone who has recruited before – that a resume typically trumps a cover letter in relevance and sway. A cover letter only really comes into play if I can’t find all information needed on the resume.

When reviewing a companies requirements, it seems my experience is relevant, transferrable and lengthy.

This is not the first time I have applied for jobs during the last 6 years – and I’ve never gotten a call back for any of the relevant positions I applied for in the past. This makes me nervous that it won’t happen now, when I need it to.

In some ways, I am over qualified. Too many years doing a varied role makes me a jack of all trades, master of none.

So, if you’d like to become as disheartened as I am, follow the simple steps below:

  1. Remove yourself/be removed from your employment.
  2. Spend hours updating/redoing your resume.
  3. Start looking around for jobs that suit your skills and interests.
  4. Keep applying.
  5. Apply for jobs you’re vaguely interested in.
  6. Apply for anything you might get.
  7. Get discouraged.
  8. Write a blog rant about your shit experience.

Voila! Just like that you now feel underwhelmed and overwhelmed at the same time.

I am hopeful things will pick up soon. I shall keep you posted.

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Rebellious Redundancy: Almost 30 and Starting Over

Last Monday I was made redundant from my career of 6 and half years.

I’ve spent the last week and half on pause, embracing discovery/excitement/nervousness.

What happens when the career you built for yourself stops generating passion and purpose, and becomes a health concern and a daily funeral for your soul? For me, you think about quitting for a year and a half, until the universe conspires to force you into a space of newness by manifesting redundancy.

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Being 29 and unemployed wasn’t on my life plan, and yet, here I am.

11:11pm, on a Tuesday night, making plans with my new and shiny bf, wondering what’s next for me.

There is only one thing I know for sure – I do not want to live a life without purpose, I do not want to jump into the safety of experience and strength of resume. I want to be bold, and brave.

Bold and brave, for me, are creative endeavours. Writing. Art. Both. Maybe even Yoga.

I spent 6 years trying to figure out what I was passionate about, what drove me, and what would light a fire in my soul. It seemed so easy for others to figure it out, while I struggled for years – and in a lot of ways, I still do.

Now, with all the space in the world, random inspiration rushes over me everyday.

Waves of courage inspire me to write. Self care wants me doing Yoga. Songs from my soul have me writing music and painting.

Starting over for me is rediscovering my bravery. Starting over is trusting in the universe and my ability to manifest my dreams. Following all the leads I feel compelled to explore.

I encourage every person out there who finds themselves in unexpected unemployment to be brave, embrace the moment you’re in, sit in the experience of freedom and delve into what’s important to you.

Allow your beliefs, values and passions to lead you and leave fear for dead in the wasteland of unfulfilled endeavours.

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Review: Adrian McKinty – The Cold Cold Ground

Being a somewhat unprofessional reader, I can’t say I’m exceedingly well read, or that I’m aware of all the great novelists of my (our?) time.

One sunny twitter day, I was scrolling through my feed when an animated video began to play. Phrase by phrase I was sucked into wanting, NEEDING to read this book. Drama, thrill and shocking crime – this book had me. This book was The Chain by Adrian McKinty. Currently on pre-order until July, I wanted to whet my palate with some of his previous titles.

I accidentally began with the first book in his Sean Duffy series – The Cold Cold Ground.

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Photo: Allen & Unwin

Before I begin, I should admit, I have no idea what has happened/is happening in politics in the UK & Ireland – however, after reading this book, my heart and mind are fairly invested and curious into its history and the more recent developments.

I do love a book that stimulates further research and makes me curious about my own ignorance.

I’m not a massive fan of long winded reviews, so let me just say this:

  • Sean Duffy – An insanely well developed, well-rounded character. He’s flawed and imperfect, whilst retaining his sense of self.
  • Story Line – Fast paced, hard to predict, immersive, stimulating and satisfying.
  • Writing Style – Easy to read, not complex, and flows well.
  • Pros – Easy to read, moves quickly, informative/educational and immersive.
  • Cons – The story could use more thrill. Though I don’t necessarily dwell on this, as it was hardly an issue. When I closed the book, I just remember hoping for a more thrilling end.

I’ve ordered I Hear The Sirens in The Streets and I’m excited for it’s arrival. Will review the next book and see if it fares as well.