Can you ever just be, whelmed?

Image via Free People.

Image via Free People.

I know you can be overwhelmed, and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be, whelmed?

It’s an auspicious question I first came across in my pre-teen, cousin accompanied viewing of ‘10 things I hate about you’ many moons ago, and I have to thank those 90’s screenwriters for posing such a thought provoking interrogation.

Because for many situations, circumstances and presented opportunities, there may many, suitably descriptive words: exciting, nerve-racking, inspiring, motivating, challenging or just really damn cool.

For others though, the term speechless is the only thing I can muster.

It’s not that I’m indifferent, undecided or perplexed – I’m simply, factually, downright speechless.

I’m just, whelmed.

You know that adage, which goes something like: “it’s my party and ill dance/cry/eat cold sausage rolls if I want to”?

It’s a thing. This life and everything in it is basically your party, do with it what you will. No one cares.

And in this daily rollercoaster, that I’m probably a tad too short for continues to creep up to the highest peak, I’m not sure how I actually feel about it.

I’m whelmed, and all I can really do is throw my hands up in the air like I just don’t care. All there is to do is enjoy the thrill.

Because on the way down a mega drop, there’s no stopping, pulling out or bailing, all there is to do, is embrace the butterflies, hold the regurgitation of your most recent hot dog and try make a semi-decent face for the inevitable mid-flight camera shot.

You are asked nothing more, than to enjoy the ride.

So do it. Do it well and do it every damn day. Enjoy, race to the end of the line to do it all again and run far from the Ferris Wheel whose circulating view you know far too well.

This life is hec-tos (Elwood housemate slang for hectic), but that doesn’t have to equate to it being overwhelming.

In the face of endless meetings, mountainous weekly readings, demanding assignments, uncooked dinners, treadmill laps, unpacked weekend bags and invitations, reject the need to want to slump in your chair, order another soy latte and complain about being busy.

For me the choice was and continues to be easy.

You can bite off more than you can chew and risk choking on greatness, or nibble on mediocrity.

The choice is now yours, are you ready for the drop?

The Doorman.

Image via Sunshine in the Fog, Pinterest.

Image via Sunshine in the Fog, Pinterest.

As much as it might appear that I’m this little pocket rocket whose on fire, never stopping to breathe, sleep properly, take a look outside or step my bare-feet on the grass: truth be known it’s those darn little things that keep me sane.

But, like most of this generation of beautifully spoilt, young, wild and free things: I have been forever seeking to postpone the day when my crazy youth is no longer only as close as a crawl through the Narnia cupboard away.

I think for me, it was this idea that adulthood implies a sense of being ‘done and dusted’– forever to be held in the stuffy under-the-stairs crevice of Harry Potter fame, living in the denial of a better and bright yesterday.

What I never considered though, was that inside the man-hole, could exist yet another door, one I never knew about. A door to some new, magical world I would have never found, had I maintained my defiance of never setting foot in Harry’s place.

I know you’ve heard it before, ‘when one door closes, another opens’, but do you believe it, or just nod ignorantly to the elder that claims to share their wisdom?

Have you ever even really considered its truthfulness?

Because yesterday, on a walk along a beach I never once thought was really ‘that’ nice, I found an incredible sunset, some rocks to sit on and a jelly fish to touch.

In that instant, I finally acknowledged that in every second there’s an opportunity for discovery, an ‘aha’ moment or just a simple appreciation that what you never thought you wanted, might actually be the best outcome.

It’s so easy for us to rest on laurels, stop sprinting when it hurts rather than push for an extra 15 seconds until we’re truly out of breath, and to get complacent in the comfort and happiness of what we know we can handle with ease.

It’s so easy to get comfortable and forget about the big dreams and ambitions we hold.

But haven’t you realized that once children can walk they want to run, and once they learn how to clap or talk they do it endlessly, and faster, and more often, urging anyone around them to teach them more.

When did we get so self-righteous, so doom-oriented, boring, and eager to remain the same old place? Where did that hunger for novelty, and excitement for the unknown go?

That, I don’t know, but I do know it’s creeping back.

Because the truth is kid, enough will never be enough, and you are growing, changing and evolving with every passing second.

Are you hungry yet?

Love, S.

Why I’ll never be able to run the world: A Tribute.

Image via Pinterest.

Image via Pinterest.

You know what, the world isn’t fair.

Waiters take your order wrong and serve you orange juice when you specifically asked for carrot, apple and ginger, and Clinique Beauty Experts will sell you over-priced oily-skin moisturizer when you clearly explained your face is combination.

People let you down, others forget about you, you forget about someone else, and the selfish person gets what you deserve. It all seems so worthy of being negative and upset over.

It’s insane how comfortable we are in our drama blanket, but how many of us have actually ever felt the cold, the real cold?

Does anyone truly grasp the reality that good things happen to bad people, and bad things happen to those totally undeserving of pain and sadness? It’s haunting to comprehend that no matter what we focus on, strive towards, want, desire and pray for; sometimes there is a pre-written story which is totally and utterly set in stone – unchangeable by any amount of tears and wishes for it not to be.

How totally thwarting, humbling, and terrifyingly insightful it is, when we finally appreciate that there are actually real things to be upset about – like losing someone you love, forever.

I’ll never be able to understand why life and this world hands out what it does, and it scares me a little to think that no matter how positively a life is led, there is no guarantee of constant sunshine and happy days. So life is a gamble. Every damn day there are a million things that could go perfectly right or gravely wrong. A smile you could see, or a fight you could encounter. A turn for the better, or a turn for the absolute worse.

And for once, I don’t have an answer for any of it. I’m speechless.

Because as much as I want to believe I can run the world, I’m humbly reminded that reality is untouchable – and it doesn’t care how broken it leaves your heart. For that, I am sorry. I am sorry because the only thing I can come up with, is that in those moments of utterly mind-numbing pain, the only thing left to do is to somehow piece together that shattered glass inside your chest, and love.

Love that before the tears there were so many smiles your cheeks burned from. That before the incessant wails and screams for things to be different, there was laughter that hurt just as hard. That one day, maybe not in a week, month or year, but one day – everything will stop aching, even if just a teeny bit less.

Each day, hour and minute, someone’s world is turning upside down for better or worse, and if you’re reading this, you have to appreciate that for right now, while I’ve got you for just a second you’re mine and safe.

So when you finish reading this, I’d like to ask you to stop. Stop, look up, close your eyes and smile.

Smile because in this moment, everything is perfect, you are healthy, you have people you love around you, and although you have no real clue as to what today or tomorrow will hold, for now you all you have to do is breathe. But I ask you to smile for those who don’t have it in them to the same in this second, and share the beat of your heart with others who will never be able to return it. Smile because although pain and loss is paralyzing, you have the ability to love harder than ever.

For a second, I dare you to take off your blanket and step into the snow – it’s cold out there, but summer will always come.

To two great men: thank-you for being you, the legendary fathers my best friends love and adore.

To my girls who lost them, thank-you for being an example of strength I look up to everyday.

To everyone else this Christmas,  hug your annoying cousin a little tighter than usual, and laugh at every single one of your uncle’s bad jokes. Love, appreciate and treasure this special time with the people who love you.

Merry Christmas.

Love, S.

The un-rave: Lessons I learnt from the ‘night-in’.

Image via We Heart It.

Image via We Heart It.

It happens to the best of us, whether it be a raging plan that never works out, a tribe of friends that have all conveniently decided to hermit-ize for the weekend, or an overworking job that leaves you feeling tired enough to willingly ‘bench’ this one out; it’s a sad truth, but ‘nights-in’ are an unavoidable reality.

For me, the symptoms of a ‘night-in’ are always the same: I pre-empt the night with a Nanna, rather than a Disco nap (the prefix succinctly defining post-nap activities, #nannalyf vs #discolyf). And this said Nanna nap, turns into a full-blown hibernation lasting almost 3 hours – it was supposed to be a NAP, c’mon Sheesh!

What this terribly timed slumber does for me is two things, two counterintuitive glorious things: It 1) rids me of being tired, and 2) Rids me of being tired just in time for it to be too late to make actual plans.

It’s in that moment of harsh realization that I really begin to ponder life.

I mean, a perfect, summer Friday ‘night-in’, is the perfect antidote for some deep and pensive thinking.

Everyone, well at least everyone except Mum and Dad are out, eating Huxtaburgers, drinking mojitos, mingling, dancing, making memories and loving it. Me? I’m scrolling through the TV programme praying for a roaring movie to be on and checking Facebook every 5 minutes to make sure I’m not missing out on anything too fantastic – I love when people don’t check in, I also love a lack of Instagram posts and no new Snapchat stories, STAY OFF THE PHONE PEOPLE, you are doing wonders for my ego.

After about half an hour of this self-mutilating surveillance of the world that exists everywhere but here, something changes. I’m totally lacking energy, totally detached from the fact that yeah, whilst it’s a ‘night-in’, it could be a great ‘night-in’ at that.

So I take it upon my self to reignite that TGIF splendor, even if it means I remain in my pyjamas for the entirety of it, because there is something about riding a Friday night solo, that is actually quite insightful. Here are the lessons I learnt from the nights I spent in.

Weekend-feel basics.

Sure they may not be heading out for a rager, but parents know how to tune those weekend feels even in the slightest way. While it’s not the most bikini-bod-friendly option, take-away of all sorts does wonders for the soul. No dishes, no meal prep, no worries. It’s the weekend, and that means chill time for all (except the Pizza Man, we need you!).

Windows are open, music is playing and the beers are on the house (literally). You don’t ever need to go too far to feel the weekend vibes.

I really needed this.

Weekdays are often so hectic we don’t notice the little things that need our attention, like:

How long was my room actually going to stay messy for?

That parking fine was almost over-due!

Wow, I totally forgot I left that rotting banana in my bag!

So my sister DID steal my skirt, AND leave it scrunched up on the floor, AND it has a stain on it. Note to self: Must. Kill. Her.

It’s quite bizarre the things you find, realize and do when you have the time to find, realize and do them.

You actually don’t mind Ben Stiller as an Actor.

But I guess, there’s something about ‘There’s something about Mary’ that can turn anyone’s frown upside down. I mean it COULD be worse, you COULD be Ted when he gets ‘stuck’ in the zipper. Poor guy.

When did staying in stop being cool anyway?

Slumber parties were literally the cause of my existence – until they weren’t. Remember the days when your sleeping bag was your best friend and pancakes were a Saturday essential?

Coloured popcorn and movie marathons with friends used to equal the BEST. NIGHT. EVER. I’m not sure when, how or why we decided that wearing short skirts in winter was a better idea than being cocooned in an arctic slumber bag that still smells like grade 6 camp #amirite.

I could do this again next Friday.

It’s the end of the week, FRIYAY! And after 5+ full days of waking up early and being a citizen who contributes to the world, it’s time for some ‘me-time’.

It’s an important trait to have: being okay with being alone. And it can totally be a hoot! Once you get passed the first half hour of wallowing in sadness, reaching for the block of chocolate you know you don’t want (but you’re not going out anyway, so you don’t need to wear a tight skirt, so it’s okay right?) you start reaching instead, for something nourishing, something good, and begin to find that it so easy to feel amazing and great and cool – without the additional extras of a dimly lit dance-floor, a good DJ, a group of friends, and pending bar tab.

Because for tonight, it’s just You + You.

You know You so well, You know what You love, what You feel like, what movie You want to watch, and which book You want to read – as well as everything else there is to know. Cultivate this relationship like you do with your best friend.

Because if there is one person you can truly rely on, someone who will follow you to every corner of the earth and never, ever leave you alone on any Fiday night. It’s you.

Here’s to the night-in!

Love, S.

 

 

 

 

Happy Little Vegemites: Secrets of the Grin.

Happy.

Happy.

There’s nothing like some down time to make you contemplate the things you really love, and on a recent bus ride from Ollantaytambo to Cusco, Peru – which was just that little bit too long – I had just that sort of ‘me’ time.

Prepared for a three-hour journey through the Peruvian countryside, I prayed to my iPod to prepare the best, chilled playlist, turned up my earphones, lifted my legs onto the back of the seat in front of me (smelly feet alert!), and spaced out to the view from my window seat.

There’s something special about some old school tunes that really make me smile from the eardrums out, and as I bumped along to the beat – and potholes – I started thinking about the other, teeny tiny little details, which really make me happy.

I’m not talking big-ticket items like “winning the lottery”, “falling in love” or “landing a dream job”, because these are pretty far and few between. If I thought these big things were the only way to be a happy-go-lucky person, then happiness would always seem another Power Ball ticket, lover and promotion away.

So why not focus on the little things.

It sounds cliché I know, but think about these merry makers. Think of how simple yet totally rewarding they are (hopefully you can relate):

  • When Coconut water is on sale for no particular reason.
  • When a waiter brings a big, cold, jug of water to your table without being asked.
  • Big coffee mugs.
  • Hearing children speak in another language.
  • Perfectly made cordial.
  • Waking up to a sunny day.
  • Sand between your toes.
  • Smelling good.
  • Fresh bed sheets.
  • Hotel bathrobes.
  • Hot showers.
  • Telling a bad joke that gets laughs anyway.
  • Perfectly ripened avocadoes.
  • Finishing a book.

These are just a few of my favorite things, and with them, I am the happiest little vegemite in the world.

Sure, the big things are important too, but at least I can experience the bliss from any of the above daily, of my own accord, without relying on some outside source to bestow upon me a $2m prize pool, attention, or a new job.

So what little things ‘float your boat’?

Find a pretty place to sit, grab a pen and paper, and brainstorm the heck out of everything that reveals the cute dimples in your cheeks!

Conjure, remember, reminisce and revive every thing you love, every incy-wincy-teeny-weeny detail, use them and abuse them everyday.

I’d love to hear what you come up with!

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.

IMG_2085

Iguassu Falls.

IMG_2087

Still Falling.

IMG_2095

Survivor.

IMG_2122

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

Life Lessons from Biggie Smalls.

Notorious B.I.G.

Notorious B.I.G.

Minimalism. I could start and end this entire post with that one word. Now I know exam-time is the usual antithesis for uncovering many of life’s mysteries, I mean, let’s not be ashamed of mastering choux pastry all in the name of procrasti-baking. But honestly, on my hunt to find ways of distracting myself from memorising all of Spanish’s three past tenses, I am learning a whole lot more than the difference between singular and plural conjugations.

I am realising how badly I want to uncomplicate my life.

Call it a cull, call it a quarter life crisis, call it me being totally warped and mildly insane, or take it from me, and call it nothing but a change.

I can’t blame these epiphanies merely on pending exams, because I think a lot of my musing is borne from the fast approaching departure date of my latest, trip of a lifetime. It seems that in every lead up to this type of adventure, I really begin to question well, everything.

What am I going to learn?

Who am I going to meet?

What am I going to see?

Where am I going to be?

How am I going to feel?

What song will be the soundtrack to this journey?

Will I change? Will I be different?

Will home be different when I get back?

Do I even want anything to be different?

Am I even ready to do this, to bail all over again on comfort in order for something so totally foreign that I can’t really even pronounce it with my lips let alone my feelings?

I soon get pretty caught up in all these questions, trying to answer them with yet another three issues, which have become illuminated by the initial query.

But as I try to take it slow, attempt to calm myself and focus on the present – because that’s all we really have, I realize that again, I have supremely complicated everything.

And so this minimalist thing pops up once more. It could be a phase, or it could be a turning point: a pre-emptive change into the person I will be when I begin to legitimately grow-up. I’m not sure who she is, what she looks like, or if she will have ultimately experienced that growth spurt I am currently still waiting on, but right now, I know she wants simplicity.

As I look back now on the past 6 months  – which from my mum’s standards has seen me be ‘way too busy’ for my own good, and from my grandmother’s perspective, has inspired her to tell me to ‘slow down and take care of myself’ each time we converse over green teas – it seems that their wishes for me to tone it down a notch have officially rubbed off.

So beloved matriarchs, here it is. I’m toning it down.

I won’t take on 5 projects at once all because the opportunities exist, and I won’t say yes to being in three places at once simply because I drive a fast Jag with iPod connectivity to get me through the distance. I won’t sleep only 5 hours a night because there’s too much to do, and I won’t need to use an excel spreadsheet to organize my professional and social life. What I will do however is follow my heart over my head. If it excites, scares, intimidates and challenges me then YES! But I’m over wasting my time.

So in the name of Europe, South America and whichever other continent I decide to ambush in the next year, I’m ready to step up.

I am ready to focus, to work smarter not harder, to laugh louder, and smile wider than ever before. But there’s a catch. A little sentence that will lead me through it all, one offered by none other than Biggie himself:

“Stay far from timid. Only make moves when your heart’s in it and live the phrase: the sky’s the limit.”

If your heart is in ‘it’, it’s worth mentioning, and if it’s worth mentioning, capturing and writing down it’s important. Because honestly, what is important, is very important.

So bay-bee, what’s important to you? I’d love to know what gives you excited shivers. Get in touch!

Sheona xo.

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Chess Mate: 20 essential pals you need in your life.

Image by Hurry Up And Smile Already via Tumblr.

Image by Hurry Up And Smile Already via Tumblr.

I am a huge fan of having countless best mates, inexplicable memories with someone whose name I am not quite sure of, and exposing myself to random social circles. There’s something somewhat magical about once-off memory making which can make someone you actually, legit have only met once, into a life-long pal. I just had this thought while I was washing the weekend mess from my hair, and I thought I’d compose a non-musical compilation of the 20 friends, that EVERYONE must have. Standard shower musings right?

1. The Worst Replier: Lezbehonest, it takes the guilt away from being non-responsive back (you know, sometimes you just can’t be bothered).

2. The Hugger: This one is great for a hug, will pat your head when you’re tired, and hold you close when it’s really cold and you’re walking down Chapel Street after exhausting every indoor option for warmth at 4am.

3. The Puzzler: Someone who is totally cool with staying in and doing a puzzle – to good tunes and good company, puzzling is actually a really enjoyable event!

4. The Friend with the Coolest Friends: You get excited when a house party invitation arrives in your Facebook notifications, because you just know that you are going to meet some of the raddest people ever. I’m not sure how some people just attract rad friends; rad times and are just bloody rad themselves. #rad

5. The old-Best Friend: Someone who saw you go through your mullet and flared jean stage and still agreed to associate you anyway. These guys are essential to gas-bagging the ‘past you’.

6. The Music Scout: Car trips are the best with type of friend, they always manage to have the best playlist ever, full of songs you love within the first 5 seconds. Not sure how they know about new artists before they are even ‘unearthed’, but they manage it. (Could it be alien insight?).

7. The Hippie: Someone who keeps you earthed and always makes you wish you were a) vegan, b) a yogi, c) living in Byron bay d) willing to devote your room to incense, or e) all of the above.

8. The Surfer: There’s nothing quite more attractive than a guy/girl who surfs. Maybe it’s the endlessly ‘beach hair’ hair, or the remembrance of Kate Bosworth in Blue Crush, but I dig it. Surfers are always so chilled, look incredible in surf clothes, and are just so down-to-earth. Enviable right!

9. The Motivational Speaker: We can’t all have Dr. Phil or Oprah on speed dial, but I really think everyone needs a friend like them. The kind of friend you can call when you’re stressing, feeling a little blue, or just really need motivation to start running again. It’s mind-boggling how these people are forever motivated, but it sure is nice to have a taste of the magic when you are with them!

10. The Photographer/Artist/Design Student: Decent instagram pics. That’s all.

11. The Ludicrous Snapchatter: You may not actually be mates, but the genius of their Snapchats makes them best mate worthy! You know the type.

12. The Husband/Wife Material: It’s nice to know there are some goodies out there #amirite.

13. The Friend who gets ALL your jokes: Personally, I am specifically referring to my delirious obsession with throwing in a movie quote here and there (specifically Mean Girls) – It’s nice when others appreciate this kind of gesture. “That’s just, like, the rules of feminism.”

14. The Masterchef: Dinner parties/lunchbox steals are a win when this person is around.

15. The Health Nut: When you really want to feel guilty abut your ‘cheat week’ or want to be reminded that healthy food can be bloody delish!

16. The Connected One: Need a list at a club? Give this pal a call as they are bound to have SOMEONE they know on the door a.k.a free entry, a.k.a drink cards, a.k.a gooooood times!

17. The Shopper: When you are poor/saving for Europe/saving for South America/at Uni and have no spare cash to splurge on a good outfit, it’s great to have a friend who doesn’t know the perils of being broke. They have the best clothes, and have always just gone shopping, again, for the third time, that week. And actually bought good stuff! Its essential here, that you a) fatten up, or b) slim down, or c) get taller – in my case – so you can actually take advantage of this GREAT type of friend.

18. The Breakfast Lover: I have never encountered anyone who would pass up a breakfast date. If you have, then we are probably not friends anyway so it doesn’t matter! Yay for breakfast.

19. The Secret Keeper: No judgment, no scrubs, just nods and agrees and totally is on your side, even if they shouldn’t be. These guys are needed for moral support.

20. The Joker: Laughing. Its gotta happen, and its gotta happen often. There is not better feeling than gaining an almost 6-pack after a non-gym sesh. These types of friends are great for both a hilarious gag, and the summer bod!

So here’s to my friends, your friends, our friends and your mum’s friends!

“I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy.”

Hope I didn’t miss anyone, if you think of another essential type of pal, i’d love to know about it! Send love to hello@thesheonaexperiment.com, or use the form below!

xo

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Kiss My Date by Rebecca De Unamuno, a MICF Review.

Kiss-My-Date-Img

When the opportunity arose to gallivant on over to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, I was pretty unaware of what the experience would entail. I mean, was I signing up for a Dave Chappelle style show in a huge auditorium, … Continue reading

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