In real-time

Image by Nicole Crave

The frustration of not understanding the Spanish subjunctive, the crispiness of Maltese pastizzi, the divinity of pizza with a good red and a Sorrento sunset, the thrill of seeing doppelgangers or almost missing an international train. The electric feel of … Continue reading

Before the end.

antosk

Image by Antosk via We Heart It.

Let’s talk about Home Runs.

Now I’m no baseball player, in fact, I’m not really even much of a team sports kinda gal, but I think I just might be in a current state of resonance, with the Home Run concept.

I’m thinking in terms of finish line, go time, game day, final series.. ya feel?

Why? Because I’ve come to the bittersweet realization that I’m 5/7ths into my greatest adventure yet. And it’s terrifying.

And I wonder if this insatiable thirst for both the now and future is the same feeling a batter gets when he reaches second base, right before home run.

Like, wouldn’t you just want to sit on second base, just for a little while.

And pause.

Press that precious – two vertically lined – button and stop time, if only for a millisecond. To look around, smell the flowers, feel the sun on your face and drown in the anticipation of almost-completion.

I’m talking 360°, Go Pro, water-resistant, HD, retina display, Facebook Live action, but on hold.

Inherently, you know home base is only a short sprint away, but second base, for a moment, second base is just perfect and exactly where you should be. 

This is where I’m at, like right now. And without any previous expertise in batting fields, pitchers, or the difference between a Yankee and Chicago Bull, I feel like Babe Ruth is my spirit animal.

Because at this close to the finish line, the only thing more terrifying than time moving faster, is time stopping.

I’m equally terrified and excited for the final episode of this incredible season. Fantasizing about the adventures I’ll unwrap for Christmas, drowning in the hugs and kisses that wait for me in Australian Eastern Standard time, yet sick in my stomach with the early on-set nostalgia that soon, very soon, everything that exists right now will be a distant memory.

But maybe that’s the beauty of everything, transience.

Maybe, it’s the hard-faced reality of knowing that everything is temporary, which draws us to create a space for it to be devoured in the exact way it’s meant to be: slowly and with the appreciation that nothing will ever taste the same.

So this time, take your time with the cake, you deserve it.

 

 

Bansky-inspired Siesta Time.

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Image via Mikutas.

Hi stranger, it’s been a while.

Okay, that’s the understatement of the century. It’s been a long while. Arguably too long since I put pen to paper, thought to word and word to world.

But the good man Banksy consumed, captivated and inspired me once again with a little quote. It was likely directed at someone brilliant, some time ago, somewhere cool, and in it, he said:

‘When you get tired learn to rest, not to quit’.

And god, have I been resting.

I haven’t stopped thinking, or pondering or lamenting on life for one second, I’ve just been too busy looking outside bus windows in admiration of majestic landscapes, and introducing myself with the same “it’s Fiona with an S-H’, in between mouthfuls of Europe’s delicacies, in the best cities of the world. The summer has been an adventure, but it hasn’t given me a chance to drown in a pool of contemplation and come out the other side with a written lil-somethin’ to share.

Sadly, writing hasn’t been a priority, until last night, it was. And the idea came to me from the most unlikely, yet oh-so Spanish source…

La siesta.

I can’t confirm whether it’s me spiraling back into the #studentlyf where nanna naps are a daily necessity, or if I’m truly turning japanese spanish as my intention for exchange would have it – but siestas are becoming a regular thing for me.

Broken down: roughly around the same time everyday, I take myself to my room, close the door, put on a slow playlist and close my eyes – but not to sleep.

In these moments I’m not particularly thinking of anything, but everything all at once.

I’m imagining scenarios, watching plots of reality unfold, rewriting scenes then jumping to another, to meet and play with something else. I’m thinking about goals and aspirations and fears and uncertainties. I wonder why I didn’t buy more goats cheese on my way home and how much water I keep forgetting to drink. I reminisce about the people I met 8 countries ago, and keep getting stuck on that ‘Closer’ song I cant get out of my head (baby pull me closer, blah blah blah something Rover). I also think of what to eat next, what to do tomorrow, tonight and how cold it really gets in Pamplona. Did Hemingway mention it at all?….

A million and five things race through my head, most often to the sound of an acoustic cover, and before I know it, I’m pretty convinced I’ve solved most of the world’s problems.

I may even drift off for a miniscule nap somewhere amongst the madness.

 But what happens, after a week (okay three weeks) of this indulgent behavior, I’ve become dependent on my daily siesta. I’m hungry for silence, thirsty for a clear my mind, excited to think, deeply.

Like untangling a heap of necklaces, finally cleaning the water bottles out of your car, or managing to correctly cook rice on a stove without ruining the pot –  a mental de-clutter is almost euphoric, and probably a pretty vital skill.

 Like the good spring clean mum insists on doing every (damn) time a visitor comes, I’m convinced our minds need the same TLC.

So stop, seriously even if it’s just for 5 minutes* and let your mind run it’s course, empty itself.

My gal Sylvia Plath coined herself a ‘victim of introspection’, but contemplation doesn’t need to be that dark. Think deep, solve the world and your own mysteries. I don’t believe time is wasted by ruminating about something or nothing at all.

sb.

NOTES:

*Of course 10 minutes of down time is better than 5, and 15 minutes even more so, then you can look into mediation and wow, that’s a whole other ball-park. The Headspace App is a good place to start.

Vanilla feelings.

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Image via Alkila Love

What does it feel like to:

a) Move to New York?

b) Graduate?

c) Wake up in the morning of your flight to a trip of a lifetime?

d) Be your birthday, Christmas or even a Friday?

It could feel a million things, and i’d love to make a list. But from those experiencing a) through d), at the moment, I’m noticing a super prevalent notion that: ‘it’ doesn’t feel like ‘it’.

Whatever ‘it’ is – it always seems to feel not like it should.

But I wonder why we’re thinking so critically – I mean, no one  has ever been here before.

In every moment, isn’t it cool to think that the experience is unwritten? You literally, have never been there before, at that age, with that mindset, in this place, with that plan, beside (or without) some person?

While everybody is busy chasing their dreams by living in New York, Graduating double-degrees, trekking trough Norway, landing boss jobs, and kicking absolute goals on (and off) field – there’s a strange commonality, a kind-of brotherhood semblance between us all:

Nothing feels like ‘it’.

Even up until boarding my flight, I didn’t feel like I was going away to travel the latest beaut locations on my bucket list and live in one of my favourite spots on earth.  Even my friends, who are living in NYC still can’t believe they’ve moved a million miles away.

But I wonder about how we have this delirious craving for trying to make sense of everything, reaching to feel something familiar when the very essence of it all, is the total opposite – unfamiliar?

The fact is, everything is shiny brand new, and there’s no way in hell to know what it feels like.

Every encroaching minute is new territory, uncharted waters, and I for one, definitely don’t have a map (or data on my international sim card in fact, to download one).

Bottom line: this is a rookie life.

So get lost. No, better than that, stay lost and stop trying to know or feel like you should about ‘it’. The feeling doesn’t exist yet, it’s vanilla, but it’s waiting for you to make, break, look it square in the eye, grab it with both hands and top it with strawberries, oreos, chia seeds, donuts, cronuts, something matcha flavoured and gummy bears.

Remember: Vanilla is always just the beginning.

sb.

In the name of Time.

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Image by VSCO via Pinterest.

Do you believe in coincidences?

I totally do. The five year old Disney-addict in me calls it ‘stars aligning’. Even perfect timing, or ‘meant to be’ style stuff.

I think for majority of us, the whole concept of ‘timing’ is only realized when things don’t happen the way we want them to.

You fail that test, miss out on GA floor tickets to a gig, miss a train, order after there’s no more avo left to adorn your sourdough multi-grain with poached egg and feta… the list goes on.

‘Timing’ is so prevalent here and sometimes it hurts a lot, to not get the things you want, in the dreamy way you want them, and with the immediacy in which you deserve.

There’s an inverse to this though, and on the most recent Saturday night it hit me pretty hard – in the best way. A truly unique, unlikely turn of events led to a beautiful ‘right time, right place’ kinda experience. And I realized that every mini decision I’d made in the lead up to it, had magically resulted in such a delicious outcome.

Fundamentally, it was all in the name of ridiculously, perfect timing.

Getting caught up in our daily grind, it’s so easy to forget the little things that make other moments perfect. From getting on the right carriage on the train to score a seat and read your book, to walking a different street and finding the best new coffee spot, to meeting someone new in the most unlikely of places, to bumping into a friend half way across the world.

The list is eternal, and appreciating those small moments can make even the rainiest day, absolute bliss.

Digging deeper though, it’s clear most things are resultant of an earlier decision.

Good or bad, there’s inevitably a consequence for everything. How bizarre to think and know, that any decision or action you make will have an effect on the future. The butterfly effect. (Side note: great movie if you haven’t seen it yet!)

I’m fascinated by consequences. Yet when I consider that the whole timing thing is actually a thing, the whole ‘everything happens for a reason’ is a pretty wicked mindset to adopt. How good!?

So for once, let’s let go of being such control freaks and let timing do her thang.

How comforting to recognize when the stars align, see when they don’t and know that a clearer night is just a road trip away.

(That was a metaphor – wew!)

*On that note, my friends and I are currently on a road trip binge. Any and all ideas on good spots for ridiculous sunsets and waterfalls would be greatly appreciated. I trust timing of me posting this and you reading it, will provide me with the wicked adventures I need.

After all, it’s about the timing yeah?

sb.

 

 

 

 

A Fearless Devotion.

A Fearless Devotion.

Image via Pinterest

Dreams, we all got ‘em. Some call them #goals, some regard them as Disney-esque reveries for the future, and your teacher probably coined them ambitions in an effort to extend your vocab back in Grade 6.

But whatever you want to call those #bigthings that drive, thrive and hunger you, there’s some background we need to bring to life if those have any chance of coming into fruition.

And to me, this qualification is kind of, almost, incredibly terrifying:

It’s a commitment to fearlessness.

Because in the big wide world, ‘making it’ – whatever it is – requires continual, incessant, fearless movements of ‘trying’, taking a bullet, shooting to score etc, etc. You know the drill.

So yeah, tell me how ambitious you are, and talk freely about the dreams you want to pursue and the plans you’re adamant to stick to.

Believe me, I’ll listen and love every minute as I watch you pour out your oath to doing what you want to do.

But tell me, are you committed, fearlessly to keeping all those dreams alive?

Like REALLY willing to say no to things you desperately want, to working your ass off, to feeling overwhelmed and whelmed and underwhelmed all at once, to missing out on Taco Tuesdays, to risking something great for what (hopefully) is better?

Are your shoulders ready for that weight, and are you even willing to work those muscles in preparation for the oncoming 1 rep max?

Because, baby, game day will inevitably come and you better be ready.

You’ve gotta be ready to move with conviction and surety when you need to do something outrageous, to putting on your conservative adult hat when you just want to YOLO, and man-ning up when all you want to do is sulk and have mum pat your head until you fall asleep.

You need to be sure you can maintain that tropical vision even when the hurricane threatens your favourite sunset, and confident you’ll remember how you first fell in love with the sparkle of your goal.

Without this commitment, this absolute, hand over heart, all-american soldier like infallibility to completion, your goals are just pipedreams. And they deserve more than that. So do you.

Mission accepted?

What’s that saying again… oh yeah.

“I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, I’m saying it’ll be worth it.”

sb.

 

 

 

Spontaneity is ew.

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Image via ELLEMER Swimwear

I don’t know about you, but I’m adamant spontaneous is a dirty word.

It’s hella reckless, misdirected and absolutely flippant. It’s young and wild and free. Nonchalant, blasé of consequences, even ignorant of them and probably inconsiderate.

Herein lies my qualm. Is doing something others think ‘crazy’ quickly, spontaneous? Or is it simply the ability to make courageous decisions, fast?

Because isn’t it admirable when someone is able to make choices quickly?

I know I’m an absolute fangirl for someone able to make a menu decision in less than 10 minutes. I mean, how have you analyzed and compared the pros and cons of every breakfast opportunity in that time. More so, be SURE you’ve made the right selection and spoken those bacon-laden words to the waiter.

Such conviction is heroic in my eyes.

Especially when it comes to big-ticket items. You know the ones:

  • Do I move to New York or not?
  • Do I travel to south-east turkey and become a camel farmer?
  • Do I end this relationship?
  • Do I road trip with out a map?
  • Do I move houses?
  • Do I go sober in October?

Honestly, I think it’s time to shed the skin of spontaneity, and instead, define the ability to make bold decisions fast, with a much more credible title.

Something more powerful which speaks to an appreciation of wicked opportunities and pouncing on them. The ability to know purely, what feels right and wrong, and to thrive on the good and just go with it. It’s a passion for knowing personal limits and pushing them. It’s unrivalled self-confidence.

It’s acknowledging that fortune favors the bold and living accordingly.

You see, spontaneity just fails to capture all that juicy goodness.

I’ve searched long and hard for an accurate word in English, and yet again our vocabulary lets me down. Greek on the other hand, has pulled through with the goods this time. Get a load of this gem:

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So now, I think I’ll learn Greek. It’s not spontaneous, it feels right.

So does a Souvlaki right now..

O-Pah!

sb.

 

A Cookie Monster Reverie.

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Image via Shop Style.

Vulnerability. It’s one of those onomatopoeic words – you know, the ones that sound precisely like what they mean.

[vuhl-ner-uh-buh l]

It’s slow and fragile and difficult.

But like green vegetables and red wine, as I grow up I’m beginning to grasp wholeheartedly, and fall madly in love with the things I once hated.

Vulnerability is one of them.

But before you get this image in your mind of a girl sitting alone reading Jane Austen novels, shy and meek and timid, stop immediately.

I’m talking about being vulnerable from a place of tumultuous, delicious excitement – the ‘risk it for the biscuit’ type.

Because in risking something, whether it be money on the roulette table, ego in a relationship, becoming friends with your parents on Facebook or ordering anything other than a Chicken Parmagiana on Wednesday night, there’s this wicked sense of vulnerability. Couldn’t it all go totally wrong?

Or right? So right.

I think it’s borne from this underlying sense of self-entitlement, which has me sure that the cookie jar is infinite. That maybe today there are Oreos on offer, but tomorrow could be teddy bear biscuits and the next day choc chip (the Coles Farmhouse ones though, amirite?). I hope you’re getting my analogy.

Is the willingness to take risks, and be vulnerable and putty-like in the hands of a new experience borne from the optimism that nothing can really go wrong?

I’d like to think so.

As the new year rings in (for me to the sound of Flight Facilities, YAY!), I’m hoping some of the #resolutions come not from a place of getting everything together, but instead, in pursuit of getting lost in a deep spiral of vulnerability, of risk-taking.

Be okay with not knowing the answers, trust the cookie monster to deliver the goods. Everyday.

Thinking in Yesterday’s.

Image via Hair Silver

Amongst a new found adoration for The Weeknd’s album, and a (definitely not new) love for the actual weekend, there’s a new tune on repeat in my little head at the moment.

It goes something like this: min. effort, max. effect.

I’m convinced there’s a sort of profound escrow, like an upside down u-shape of effort vs output. We think that more time, more reflection, more effort and energy will result in something better, bigger, grander – something to be ‘more prouder’ of. (That is terrible English, and I’m not sure prouder is even a word, but you get me.)

It’s a joke, because this incessant perjury of ‘perfectionism’ is really quite paralysing.

How many things are put off, delayed, revisited, re-discussed, redone or still left untouched because it’s still not 4000% perfect?

While I always thought a messy bun looked better than a structured ballerina one anyway, I’m learning real quick, that done, is more often than not, better than perfect.

I’m also learning with this finite schedule, that shit needs to get done. Yesterday.

Today my food for thought is this delicious nugget: don’t let perfection get in the way of progress.

We’re done now.

Imperfect, but done.

ily.

SB.

Coco Made Me Do It.

Image via I’d Throw Glitter in The Air, Tumblr.

It’s funny; I’d like to think of myself as someone who thrives on learning new things.

I really want to learn how to play guitar, to speak Spanish, and to master the art of cooking rice without totally ruining another good ScanPan. I also want to learn SEO and how to use chopsticks like a pro and be able to snap from raw story-telling to intensely formal corporate email writing in a second. Can I also learn how to use MailChimp, and change a spare tyre, and bake the perfect chocolate soufflé? Please and thank you.

A lot like you, there’s a lot I’ll get to, one day.

Keywords: one day.

What I’m finding though, that learning doesn’t happen from a place of ‘really wanting to’, there’s no motivation, scorecard, satanic trainer, or authoritative accountability associated with such an aloof desire. Not for me anyway.

The day dream of playing chords like Taylor Swift for the pleasure of campfire banter and impression of a Matt Corby-esque, man-bun is just not strong enough. And learning how to make an app just because it could be useful one day, doesn’t have a rich enough timeline to meet.

I still haven’t learnt any of these things, and I probably won’t. Why would I? I don’t need to.

Herein lies the catch: necessity equals results.

I’ll have you know, I’m becoming an expert in Google Adwords because my job demands it, I’m learning how to cook the perfect Spanish dinners because I now live out of home, and I discovered how to pump up my tyre because Dad wasn’t with me when a dose of air was vital if I wanted to roll any closer towards Yoga class.

Only out of desperation I skilled up.

The lesson is blatantly clear then, that nothing will happen unless it’s forced, demanded and required. End of.

Now I think of one of my favourite proverbs, Parkinson’s Law, which states that, “work expands to fill the time available for its completion.”

As a student, I know this to be supremely legit: you can either smash out an assignment in two weeks, or go from zero to hero in a record 4 hours with the company of a significant amount of caffeine if required.

Using old friend Parkinson to our advantage, there’s just one thing to do: get accountable.

And most of all, uncomfortable to the point where everything is new. Because by jumping over the edge the body has no choice but to follow, and live on. We hope.