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.

Baby steps.

Tippi Degré via Pinterest.

Tippi Degré via Pinterest.

“Whoever said small things don’t matter has never seen a match start a wildfire”. – Beau Taplin

It’s an interesting concept, the idea of ‘little things’ being big things.

I for one, am a huge advocate. Being small (in height), I’m pretty adamant on turning such a presumable defeat into something magic.

I’m a certified pocket-rocket, a proprietor of ‘fun-size’, and a 50 cent reminiscent ‘Shawtay’.

It’s fine, after 22 years in this bod, I’ve accepted my Latino induced height challenge. But that hasn’t stopped me from coining #bigthings as my motto for this year.

BIG everything.

BIG moves, BIG events, BIG meets and BIG goals that – if all goes to plan – become BIG successes.

Because as my favourite Beau Taplin has beautifully affirmed: small things can be wildfire huge.

Re: Change

In a recent article I’ve been poring over for days for Lot’s Wife Magazine, the true impact of small=big has kind of engrained itself in my head. I’ve been covering a story on ‘Live Below the Line’, an initiative run by the Oaktree Foundation to realize the end of extreme poverty.

Now I don’t know about you, but for me, I believe changing the world is a task that should be reserved for Superman, Obama or Angelina Jolie. The concept of little ol’ me actually having an ability to make a real difference is pretty jovial. It’s impossible right?

Apparently not.

Something as ‘small’ as me raising $50, can put some cute little boy in school for a year.

Small for me? Sure, I mean, $50 is hardly a new Kookai top.

HUGE for said cute little kid? Abso-freakin-lutely, it’s life changing.

See, #BigThings

Re: Goals

The good thing about goals is they are huge. The bad thing about goals is they are huge.

My Dad has always said to my sisters and I, ‘to reach for the stars because even if you fail, at least you’ll fall on the moon’.

The cool part about this is that our goals are inevitably set sky high, almost unattainably high.

It’s like we are gearing up for failure – at least without a plan for getting there anyway.

It’s all scarily reminiscent of the Year 12 teachers’ chime: ‘failing to plan means planning to fail’. So what if we broke BIG goals in baby steps. Small ones?

I read something recently that was like, ‘see yourself achieving a goal, and backtrack to what you would have done immediately before that moment, then before that one, and the one before it etc. etc., until you are sitting where you sit right now.’ I like this a lot!

As you can imagine, any #bigthing is a series of small, little things that accrue together for the final result. I guess it’s nothing new, but I’m learning it all over again.

Re: The World

Even on a global scale, little things may be pretty major.

I recently entered a competition answering the question: “How would you change the world”. Without even realizing the trend that I would be experiencing together with the ‘Live below the line article’, and my own need to break my goals down – my 30 second video was all about the importance of little things.

As you can imagine, I’m convinced the ‘little’ mindset can change the world.

See the video here.

Think about it, it’s 100% where change begins. With a little giggle to lighten a tense mood, a cheeky smile to convince someone you’re a fun human being, or even just a pat on the back to show someone their efforts are appreciated.

Take-away

So what’s the moral of the story S.?

Well Bae, I’m proposing we bring it back a notch.

That we remember the little people, and the baby steps we took before we could walk, run and jump.

This is where it starts, that is where real progress is made, and unfortunately, its what we seem to forget.

So break down the big, and make them small enough to eat in one bite.

I wonder if this was the motivation behind the creation of macaroons: So small, but totally inclusive of a world of deliciousness – I’m looking at you Adriano Zumbo!

So think you can do it?

Be small for the sake of being BIG. I dare you.

Love, S.

Nailing the Fail.

Buzz Kill by Arrow Divine via Instagram. Shot by Cloudy Rhodes.

Buzz Kill by Arrow Divine via Instagram.
Shot by Cloudy Rhodes.

There’s a lot of noise surrounding this whole ‘Just Do It’, ‘Never Give Up’ mentality, and I’m about to put my foot down.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Nike ‘tick’ as much as the next person, but I’m thinking that there’s something quite profound in failure, or as I like to call it, ‘strategic quitting’.

Sounds like an oxymoron and a half I know, but considering the lack of hours in a day, days in a week, weeks in a year and years in a lifetime, I’m going to be a selective snob, and say that quitting and ‘failing’ is kind of really great!

Personally, I couldn’t even tell you how many times I’ve stopped reading a new book after just not ‘feeling it’ within the first 5 pages, how many restaurants my friends and I have ditched after being ‘not totally in love’ with the menu options, or how many movies I’ve only watched 20 minutes of.

Am I Picky? Yes.

A possessor of obscenely high expections? Definitely.

A changeling? Most likely.

But I’m going to own these nuances, and pretend that I’m onto something, something good.

Because, in the past week, a lot of events are really leading me to believe that we only make plans to change them, and that we seek to follow rules only to be a badass and break them anyway.

Unfortunately, the ‘choice’ to discontinue a fad diet, long-term relationship or ‘dream’ career is often labeled as failure with a capital ‘F’, but in my opinion, life is way too short for bad vibes, and if being a failure is what it comes down to, I’ll claim that badge proudly.

Because there HAS to be some profound beauty in walking away – in making new tracks, singing new songs and completely turning your back on something that just doesn’t fit anymore.

I mean, why bother wasting your time drinking bad coffee, finishing an ugly seagull puzzle, or pouring energy into a relationship that doesn’t make you laugh until your cheeks hurt?

So throw the coffee down the sink and make a new one with cinnamon on top and extra sugar, throw away that puzzle and stop making an effort with those who don’t appreciate it.

Don’t feel sorry for yourself, embrace and be the change. There’s no excuse but you don’t need one.

It’s called failing to win.

Love, S.

Fallin’ for the Falls: Iguassu.

On planet Earth, there’s a sweet spot. Let me talk you through it.

You see, personally, I only need to head to the supermarket and attempt to reach the dried figs on the top shelf to get a perspective on how small I am compared to the world, but there are some places out there, which truly make you feel like an ant.

A teeny tiny little thing that could be washed away in a second. Somehow, experiencing this ant-like state is miraculously liberating: it’s like you are forced to just sit, look and admire with a loving envy at how grand other things are.

Other things like great waterfalls, or more specifically, the Iguassu Falls. A few days ago I truly grasped the said ant-life whilst in Brazil, and this is my story.

I was in Caipirinha Heaven.

Pronounced: kye-pah-reen-ya

It’s a cocktail, it’s strong, and Brazil is literally crawling with them.

Drinking these bad boys is basically a National Standard around this part of the world, so if you choose to visit, you better be Caipirinha-ready for a Caipirinha-good time!

I was basically Jane from Tarzan.

I swear I saw Tarzan a few times, that’s all I’m saying.

But seriously, there are rainbow coloured butterflies flitting around, flirty Macaws who say ‘Adios’ and cheeky little monkeys who literally convince you to pick them up, put them in your pocket, save them for a rainy day and become best friends.

But to really fire up your jungle experience, you should definitely dress like Bindi Irwin, pick a bite-size banana fresh from the bunch on the side of the pathway, carry a walky-talky and climb a Palm Tree to drink your Coconut Water fresh from the source!

Okay maybe don’t try that last one at home, Palm Trees can be really high. But you get the gist: the Jungles are legit!

I abused Watermelon Juice on tap.

Yes, you read right: on tap.

I love you, Breakfast Juice Bar!

I saw ‘those’ Falls.

This isn’t a class on the many ‘Wonders of the World’ so I wont go overboard in explaining just how amazing the Iguassu Falls are, but just so you know, they are kind of a big deal.

A Go-Pro and genuine desire to get completely drenched are necessary.

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Iguassu Falls.

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Still Falling.

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Survivor.

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Toucan Pride.

Hi Banana.

Hi Banana.

Banana not so ripe.

If you too, have ever felt like a cast member from ‘A Bug’s Life’, share your story, we are all friends here.

Love Sheona. xo

FOMO: A deconstruction.

Image by @valentina_muntoni via Instagram

Image by @valentina_muntoni via Instagram.

Being available at the drop of a hat is something that I genuinely pride myself on, and I’d like to think that being “down” for anything is a trait that most people would aspire to.

Because in my books, it’s totally okay to text someone at 3pm requesting chai latte accompaniment in half an hour; and my own replies to invitational texts read something like this: “So. There. It’s. Insane.”

Basically, I’ve deduced this erratic tendency of always being available, to nothing other than FOMO.

I’ve heard acceptance is the first step of any form of recovery, so here it is:

I, Sheona Bello, solemnly admit that I am a full-time, hardcore sufferer of FOMO – more extensively known as the “Fear Of Missing Out”.

But to be honest, I never want to lose this ‘fear’. Here’s why.

On the one hand, it could be argued that such a condition leaves one forever in anticipation of the “next big thing” and never truly enjoying the present. But I prefer the contrary, FOMO is the best thing ever!

Think about it: if you have FOMO, it means that you have identified something you want to experience, and in an effort to reduce FOMO, you go ahead and do it! It’s a simple equation, really:

FOMO averted = experience attained = happy days!

And seriously, who doesn’t want happy days, for dayyyssss? It’s not a trick question, we all do! 

Now I am fully anticipating you, my beloved reader, to at this point deduce what I’ve written as a ludicrous indication of naïveté, idealism and outrageous optimism, but please stick with me here.

I mean sure, it may be some form of psychological conditioning, too many olives when I was a toddler or maybe even a recent overdose on coconut water which has conceived these ideas, but I definitely say all this from experience.

Because, once again I am humbly reminded that plans are made to be changed, and there are greater things available than I could have ever imagined myself – only if you are willing to avoid your FOMO, and embrace them!

As such, it is with huge excitement that I write this post, less than 24 hours before boarding a flight to Shanghai – a place I didn’t plan on seeing for another 5 years, and a trip I am not nearly prepared for given the 48 hour proximity of a separate, 2 month trip through South America.

But the opportunity was there, I have FOMO, I wanted to relieve my FOMO, so I POUNCED. 

Don’t blame me, blame it on the boogie.

拜拜啦

Sheona xo.

 

 

Daughters of a European Summer.

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There’s a sort of mental and emotional hangover that rushes over you when arriving back home from an overseas trip, and I’m not sure if it’s normal or not, but I am 100% stuck in a European bubble – what’s scary is, I don’t think I ever want to leave it.

I’m ‘fresh off the boat’ as they say, from a 6 week stint through Europe, wheeling a suitcase which could double as my private room (yes, it’s THAT big, and I’m THAT small) through the world’s cutest cobbled alleyways, sipping the cheapest vino over-looking the most stunning sunsets and dancing on the bar-tops of every venue which wouldn’t escort us out for doing so.

I guess I am suffering the side-effects of a 2-month, daily scramble to pick up the remnants of my suit-caser life 5 minutes before EVERY late checkout, making sure that the essential: iPhone, Passport, Birkenstocks and three gal pals were in tow before departure. Or maybe it’s an epic “come-down” from endless bittersweet farewells to cities i’d re-fallen in love with, in exchange for the promise of a new tomorrow in an equally as fresh land complete with new mates and even newer moments to add to my expanding memory bank.

But, it’s now officially a week that my lungs have been privy to the Melbourne, if not Australian air, and I would be lying if I said that most mornings I don’t still flounder in my bed, confused and often delirious about which country I am in, and whether we have woken up too late and already missed our flight to Brussels.

I am constantly running into my sister’s room across the hall trying to decipher which of my friends are still not home from the crazy night before, only to find my Year 12 mini-me, fast asleep in her bed, awaiting a 7am alarm to welcome a day full of high-school torture.

Yep, I am definitely home; I just don’t know it yet and it’s ludicrously, the exact same feeling I had as we flew out on that chilly Melbourne night, 7 weeks ago. A pitch black sky we had been awaiting, for no less than 183 days, 17 hours and precisely, 22 minutes – I remember because I screen-shot the countdown when the travel agent confirmed our outbound flight.

After so long planning, throwing up ideas, making outlandish bucket-list entries and dares that I ‘shot-gun not’; the very hour had finally dawned, and even on the plane as we milked the mini vodkas just like we said we would (thanks Emirates), it still didn’t seem real.

Even now, as I look back at all the pictures we awkwardly asked strangers to take of us in front of the Colosseum, or as I comment on the “take me back to Europe” statuses of my new – now also returned – travel mates, or even listen to the songs which will forever compose the soundtrack to “that 2014 Eurotrip” – it’s still pretty fantastical and surreal.

So in an effort to relive every moment, non-sober epiphany, soul mate meeting and gorgeous view, I am belatedly beginning the memoirs of the summer that was (your Melbourne winter).

Better late than never, hey!

For now, “skies are blue”.

 

How liquid breakfast pulled me through a mini-crisis.

Image by James Lee Parry for Oyster Magazine.

Image by James Lee Parry for Oyster Magazine.

I recently had an epiphany on Up&Go’s claim of possessing the ‘goodness’ of 2 Weetbix and Milk.

It’s an inventive marketing ploy, to embed ‘goodness’ into something as simple as 3 breakfast ingredients, but the events of a certain yesterday have taught me that such combinations really are, inherently god sent.

I’ll break it down for you.

The events which took place less than 24 hours ago, saw me:

  • Experience one of my worst fears: getting a flat tyre, driving high speed on the freeway,
  • At the most inconvenient of times: on the way to an end of semester exam worth 70% of my overall mark,
  • In undesirable circumstances: 120km northwesterly winds, torrential rain and a deep dark sky.

Needless to say, my insurance finally came in handy after an almost perfect 3-year term on my P-Plates. I mean, I was running a stellar track record, and was was pretty proud of having acquired nothing more than a cheeky bump into the back of an old commodore, in my attempts to escape the Safeway car park up to this point.

But this was a whole new playing field, one requiring me to jump on board a tow truck, and effectively miss the essential 10 minute duration of exam reading time (not to mention the ENTIRE exam).

It was horrible, literally the worst possible thing that could have happened, but I have surprised myself in thinking that it was the BEST sequence of events to occur on that very, Melbourne day.

Firstly, I didn’t swerve off the road and cause a major collision, disrupting the homecoming traffic on a major freeway.

Secondly, I didn’t have to suffer a wrongly, prolonged exam duration – the lecturer accidentally prescribed the 3 hour exam as 4 hours on this exam day. Ew.

Thirdly, I came out alive without so much as a broken nail. AMEN!

My RACV ‘knight in shining armour’ says if I’d driven any further, the rubber part of my tyre would have completely stripped off, leaving me rolling fast paced on the metal part of my wheel – a prospect which could have been extremely catastrophic given the weather and road conditions.

This deserves another AMEN, because to be honest, I am in no position to accept any liability – I have a flight to all things Rome: Meatballs, Nonnas, Vespa rides and Italian stallions, in 48 hours time.

So essentially, I am one grateful cookie that these whole shenanigans played out they way they did. I am alive, I am safe and I finally got a chance to make use of those endless insurance fees.

Sure it doesn’t have the protein, energy and fibre of 2 Weetbix and Milk like my favourite, Chocolate Up&Go carton, but it’s pretty damn full of goodness.

Yay for being alive!

Where can you source goodness today? Holla!

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Why you shouldn’t date someone who does anything.

Image via We Heart It.

It seems that articles describing  “Why you should date a girl/guy who does this/that,” movement is taking over the world – or maybe just my news feed, but that’s essentially the same thing, right?. Without fail, the dawn of each … Continue reading