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 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.

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.

 

 

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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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

Forever Young.

Rolling down hills in Sintra, Portugal.

Image by Sheona Bello.

My dad keeps telling me that my “20’s are for learning” and every time he says it, I think I love him a little bit more. To me, learning implies a sprinkle of recklessness, a touch of experimentation, a hint … Continue reading

The myth of the backstage pass.

Jourdan Dunn and Cara Delevigne - Backstage at Burberry S/S 2-14.

Image by Senya Hearts via Tumblr.

I am beginning to really understand the truth of David Guetta’s recent rapper collaboration, “Work Hard, Play Hard”. A recent camp experience really shed light on the fact that a “hustler’s work is never through”, as I was struck with … Continue reading

Help me, I’m poor.

Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 7.41.44 PM

– But I still want to have delish noms in cool places. It is this exact dilemma which leads me to my incessant adoration for Is Lentil as Anything. All friends with similar wealth levels will resonate my praises for … Continue reading

A passionate discussion on passion, not pashing.

Image

There’s a lot of noise at the moment about passion.

Passionfruit has always been delish, and Passiona a somewhat refreshing beverage.

But take away these suffixes, then your’e just left with little old passion. Just. Left. With. Passion. A 7 letter gem that shapes a lot of what the mystics call their ‘life-purpose’, what the entrepreneurs label their ‘calling’, and what I like to call, something bloody massive I just cant decide on.

I mean, personally, I want to be a writer, a dancer (currently I’m perfecting the moonwalk), a surfer (thanks Blue Crush), a corporate bitch, a band-member, a hippie who lives in a combi in Byron and sells handmade jewellery, a yoga instructor, a Buddhist monk, a mining magnate, Miranda Kerr… basically, everything under the sun.

I guess in my fiasco of options, I am desperately just trying to define my, wait for it… PASSION.

As I learn more about the said, 7 letter-er, I can safely say the two of us are slowly becoming friends.

Motivational books will tell you to “follow your passion” if happiness is what you truly seek, but thanks Confucius, how am I meant to follow something when I don’t even know what it looks like? There is no road-sign, no Google answer, not even a Wikipedia article that precisely tells me what my passion is. So, your notions of living a purposeful life are really of no help to me at all, not unless you help me find it anyway.

So I assigned myself a James Bond mission to get to the bottom of the P word. What I found was surprisingly simple.

What. Do. You. Love. 

But here’s the catch, you have to limit it to 10. And list them in order.

These are your passions. Voila!

A 10-point list could very well include:

·      Cheerleading,

·      Shopping,

·      Travelling,

·      Eating McDonald’s fries,

·      Being with friends,

·      Reading,

·      Watching the Disney Channel,

·      Playing in the pool,

·      Playing with dogs,

·      Being in the sun.

Please note these are the Top 10 ‘passions’ of my 12 year-old sister.

So enlighten me, how on earth is she going to make a career out of being a dog-loving, junk-food munching, cheerleader? Truth is, mate, she’s not.

So as an informer big sister, do I tell her to discard all these fun things because, well honey, that ain’t gon’ pay the bills? 

Nope, I tell her to lap them up, do these things, and do them often!

Do them for as long as you stop loving doing them, and when you do, find something more fun and enjoyable to replace them.

Because they are your passions.

(P.S she later argued, telling me that people actually can make money being a cheerleader, enough for a 50-cent cone anyway!)

I think what we get caught up in, is thinking that you have to find passion in a job or career, but truthfully, that would be condemning your crazy passions into a tiny hole and saying, ‘don’t move, breathe, or smile. No fun allowed’. Passion is so much more multi-faceted. 

Sure, we would all love to be Oprah, or Kelly Slater, doing for a job what we LOVE, but let’s be realistic. Don’t think that if you are not able to land your dream job on Getaway, that you are going to live in misery, you can be as happy as Pharrell, even if you are the toilet cleaner at Flinders Street Station on a Saturday night.

But “how” you scream. I’ll impart my wisdom with you, it’s all about how you spend the remaining 77 hours of your week (considering a 35 hour work week and 56 crucial beauty sleep provisions).

That my sweet child, is where you live your passions. Read, dance, bake, write, sing, play, laugh and laugh some more!

Even if you just spend half your free time doing the things you love, you have already outbid your day job. Kapish?

So basically, yeah. Homework for this week, list your ten passions, and sacrifice Game of thrones to play out your own fanstasy!

I would love to hear your thoughts on the passionate topic, and what activities and things come up in your Top 10 list.

 

P.S Take a leaf from Janey’s book, this gal is one passionate painter!