I am rabbit, hear me roar

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Awhile ago I was visiting one of my good friends in London and in between going to the Portobello Markets and heading out to celebrate my birthday at the Blues Kitchen in Camden Town, we sat around on her bed googling Chinese Zodiac animals. As you do.

We were both under the belief that we were born in the year of the dragon, so we decided to find out what our strengths and weaknesses were as people under the sign of the dragon. We learnt that such dragoness people are ambitious, are quite intellectual and often energetic. These characteristics didn’t seem too bad, and I guess I could see them in aspects of my personality, what being a genius and all. We read on. These people are also arrogant, impatient, fiery, tactless and unrealistic… Well, clearly this Chinese Zodiac sign stuff was all a load of crap!

As we read on, we also saw the exact dates that people need to be born within to be considered being born in the year of the dragon. It was then that I discovered that after a whole life of thinking I was born in the year of the dragon, turns out I had been wrong. Who even was I?

As it turns out, I am actually born in the year of the rabbit… And this realisation, my friends, changed things. I was once again open to Chinese Zodiac signs.  I always knew I was destined to be a rabbit, or at least, knew there had to be some logical explanation as to why I have always had an obsession with rabbits – and this was clearly the logical explanation I had been searching for.

I don’t normally include pictures of myself on here, but today I make an exception. Ok fine, it’s not actually me. But I did have Bonnie for 8 years, so it’s pretty much the same thing.

I don’t normally include pictures of myself on here, but today I make an exception. Ok fine, it’s not actually me. But I did have Bonnie for 8 years, so it’s pretty much the same thing.

I know you must be dying to know all about my strengths and weaknesses, and I could just say google it, but alas, I am a “tender and lovely” person [words of a random Chinese Zodiac website I just stumbled upon, not mine – because I am also “modest”], so I will summarise for you. I am gentle, sensitive, compassionate, amiable, modest [told you so] and merciful, with strong memory. It gets better – “These people like to communicate with others in a humorous manner.”

Oh. My. God. I AM a rabbit!

I LOVE communicating in a humorous manner! My communications are completely humorous – Am I right?! [Side note – I’m still modest] Of course, I do come with my weaknesses as well – “People born in the year of the rabbit lack meditative abilities.” I am totally and most definitely a rabbit. I am the proof for the legitimacy of Chinese Zodiac signs.

Really, it should have been crystal clear that I was a rabbit the moment I ate rabbit poo. That’s right. I ate rabbit poo. I always thought the justification for this occurring was: “PEOPLE! It totally looked like a small piece of chocolate, left over on my couch!!” [And no judgment for eating random pieces of chocolate please, but I will allow you to judge me for eating rabbit poo, because, well I can see how that is kind of fucked up] In any case, there was no justification required. It was obviously my instinct taking over. My instinct knew that eating rabbit poo would be good for me [Rabbits eat their poo – it’s nutritious for them, and me I guess].

Anyway, you would think that with knowing that I am indeed a rabbit and as a result being able to read what kind of person I am right off the web, that I would be pretty clear about who I am, and who I am not.

This is not always so, but I know that I am not the only one who feels like I am made up of conflicting parts [In that sentence, I originally also wrote “even opposing parts”, however, after enquiry with McPho I am informed that “opposing” adds no further value to what “conflicting” already portrays. So I’ll stick with just “conflicting”, but just know that I originally wrote “even opposing” to import just how conflicting my parts are sometimes… Really REALLY conflicting].

In fact, even a brief reference to any of philosophy, psychology or religion, shows us that humans have always felt as though within themselves, they have opposing desires, motivations or beliefs, sometimes leading to the conclusion that we are in fact made of different parts (or souls).

Way back when, Socrates asserted that we have three parts (the logical, the high-spirited and the appetitive), with different purposes that function together and make a whole; that there is a contrary state to the whole (being the injustice), and that one will either listen to one state or the other. Similarly, Freud’s account of the unconscious distinguished three elements within the mind, which he called id, ego, and super-ego, with the ego being the conscious self which has the task of reconciling the conflicting demands of the id and the super-ego with the requirements of external reality.  And then you look at Christianity, for example, and the belief of there being a god and a devil, which ultimately is what represents the “good” and “bad” parts within us.

Sometimes, I get really caught up in trying to figure out what parts of me are strongest, and therefore should be the parts I am more true to and act on. However, in doing so, I can’t help but feel that by being true to some parts, and not true to other parts, I’m not being true to the overall person that I am. It can be extremely difficult to reconcile sometimes, right!?

I can often feel overwhelmingly confused when I think too much about what I want, what will make me happy and what I should do with my life, due to my conflicting parts. However, perhaps I need to remind myself that we all feel this way, embrace it as being a part of life, and understand that some days, some parts may be stronger than others. Therefore, on days where I might wish for a different kind of life, know that, if I did have a different life, I would still have days in that life, where I wish I actually had the life I do have. And also understand that, just because I have this life now, doesn’t mean that later on in my life, I can’t start to listen and act more on other parts of me, changing the focus or direction of my life every now and then.

Perhaps it is actually a beautiful thing that we aren’t so black and white, that some parts of us have corresponding opposite parts? Perhaps this is what helps make life interesting, and what makes getting to know others interesting? Whilst I am not a fan of hypocrisy, the older I get, the more I realise that having thoughts and feelings that may seem hypocritical to one another, is actually just a side effect of thinking a lot, not being closed minded and being open and willing to learn more, experience more and relate more with a wider array of people.

One thing I am certain about though. I am obsessed with rabbits. How fucking cute are they. Thank the star that died for bunnies, they make the world go around. Ok fine, they don’t make the world go around, but the definitely do make the world a better place, so it’s pretty much the same thing.

One thing I am certain about though. I am obsessed with rabbits. How fucking cute are they. Thank the star that died for bunnies, they make the world go around. Ok fine, they don’t make the world go around, but the definitely do make the world a better place, so it’s pretty much the same thing.

As an aside, I recently promised a friend, McProviderofmydailypowersource, that I would blog about having finally made a decision about finally deciding on my regular coffee order. For the last couple of years, I’ve ordered pretty much as follows: soy latte, skim flat white, soy flat white, skim flat white, soy cappuccino, long black, long black with a dash of milk… the obvious theme being, I love soy with my coffee, but also felt a weird sense of guilt about the higher number of calories in a cup of soy coffee, and also not liking that I can’t taste the coffee as well in a soy coffee as I can in a skim milk coffee. So then instead of ordering a soy coffee, I order the healthier, more “coffeey” coffee. Then thinking, fuck it, life is short… I’ll have my soy coffee please! Then thinking, but but, IF life is short, I want to be skinny so that I can feel good about myself… Long black it is! Then thinking, but, I really REALLY do like soy coffees… Soy cappuccino please, because not only do I like soy but I also feel like some sprinkles of chocolate today and YOLO!

Until one day, quite recently, I finally worked out what it was that I needed. A ¾ soy flat white. I’ve had a consistent relationship with ¾ soy flat whites for about 3 weeks now. It’s going pretty strong. I feel as though I have finally found a standard coffee order that satisfies the various parts of me [I’ll be honest, I really wasn’t sure how I was going to incorporate my coffee ordering into a blog post, but I’m pretty sure I just nailed it].

Mmmm, coffee. I’m currently sitting at a café. Fuck it, I’ll get a ¾ soy flat white right now…

“Can I get a half water half skim strong flat white over here please.”

 “It is clear that the same thing will never do or undergo opposite things in the same part of it and towards the same thing at the same time; so if we find this happening, we shall know it was not one thing but more than one.” Socrates.

Are intentions all that really matter?

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You often hear people say “it’s the intention that matters”.

But is intention really all that matters? When I initially started thinking about it, I thought surely action matters more than intention, since it is action that actually makes an impact or creates consequences?  This question has particularly been interesting to me this week, with everyone talking about their New Year’s resolutions – if one of my friends mentions that they intend on running a marathon this year, is that intention of running a marathon really all that matters, surely it should actually be the act of running the marathon that matters and the mere intention of doing it being neither here nor there (no one congratulates a person for having just had the intention to run a marathon surely?).

To be clear, I’m speaking about intention for the future (as distinct to intentional action and intention in acting).

Imagine I say to McCool, “I am going to write you a love poem for every day of the week starting tomorrow.” There, I’ve expressed an intention to do something, but then imagine for whatever reason, despite my genuine intention to write love poems for McCool, I don’t actually do it.

Alternatively, imagine I express an intention to McCool to go for a 10km jog by the end of the day, but then again I don’t actually do it.

Is it appropriate in these circumstances for either McCool or myself to say “well, you know, it’s the intention that matters”?

I think that in the former scenario, it is the intention that matters, but that the same cannot be said for the latter. The distinction comes down to purpose – what is the purpose of the intention? If the purpose can be met by the intention alone, then there seems no reason to me why it would be incorrect to say it is the intention that matters (working on the assumption that the expression of intention is genuine and is taken by the recipient of the expression to be genuine and not a lie). If, however, the purpose of the intention can only be met by the action that the intention contemplates, then I do not think that intention is what matters at all.

The purpose of my intention to write a love poem to McCool everyday would be to make her feel warm and fuzzy inside. Arguably, even if I didn’t actually write the poems, McCool would still feel warm and fuzzy because I intended to do so, in itself still being a demonstration of my love for her. If the intention is genuine, then that would mean that the not writing of the poems would have been unintentional.

Of course, whether the purpose has been met here will actually come down to McCool and whether she personally felt warm and fuzzy by the intention alone, which is rather subjective and not something I can decide upon myself – therefore, I’m not saying that it is impossible in this scenario for the purpose only to be met by the intention followed by action. Imagine also that my purpose had been to show off my poem writing skills to McCool, in this case, purpose again would only be met by the intention followed by action.

The purpose of the intention to run 10km would be to assist with staying fit and healthy. If I don’t actually go for the run, then I’m not meeting that purpose at all. Even if the intention was genuine and I had been prevented from going for the run by something completely unintentional, the fact is, having the intention alone does nothing to assist with the purpose of staying fit and healthy.

In other words, the sentiment that “it’s the intention that matters” is not really that useful at all, used as such a blanket statement. It may or may not be, and perhaps when we express an intention, we should actually take a moment to consider its value and what purpose we are hoping to achieve by giving it.

Since I mentioned New Year’s resolutions earlier, I also want to confirm that I’m not saying that people should stop making them. Resolutions would in the majority of cases, if not all, involve intentions which purpose could only be met by action, but that action also comes as a result of the intention to do it. I’m just saying, at the end of the year we can’t just flippantly say “well, I did none of my resolutions, but I genuinely intended on it, and it’s not even really my fault that it didn’t happen, so it’s the intention that matters”.

Anyway, so if I were to simply answer the question of whether intention is all that matters, I would answer by explaining that purpose met by intention means intention is what matters and purpose that can only be met by action means intention is not what matters.

Perhaps the easiest way forward is to not over complicate things like I just have, and simply always aim to follow the intention do something by actually doing it, but not feel too guilty if you were unable to do it if the purpose of the intention was met anyway. It’s probably safest to just also never say “it’s the intention that matters”, so people like me don’t spend long periods of time then analysing the value and truthfulness of such a statement.

Also, awkward if people don’t actually ever say this and I’ve just made it up.

Since I mentioned love poems to McCool, I will end on such.

McCool, you are my sister,

More important than any mister.

You have short hair,

But do not despair,

My love for you will last longer than a game of twister.

( and clearly, the purpose of intending to write that, was never to show off my poem writing skills)

I’m every woman, it’s all in GRAVITY!

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A few weeks ago I watched a documentary called Einstein and E=mc2 with my sister McCool. It was pretty great. Since McCool started studying science, I have been acutely aware of how little science related knowledge I have, and yet I find it fascinating, so I have been on a science knowledge building rampage ever since. I have learnt new cool words like electromagnetism, and finally started to have an understanding of what things like atoms, neurons, electrons and gravity, actually are. “Gravity” is my new favourite answer to any science related question:

Random person who likes to quiz others on science: “What makes the sky blue?

Me: “GRAVITY!” [Then proceed to run away. Possibly throw a smoke bomb also.]

The first great thing about this documentary, well, was obviously that I was with McCool when I was watching it. Secondly, I finally didn’t have to try and visualise in my own wee mind what magnetic and electric forces are actually doing and why they are important… this documentary not only used little imaginary sparkly lines to represent lines of force, so that I could easily see what the otherwise invisible magnetic and electric forces were doing, but also gave a little story about the guy who discovered all these amazing things about the sparkly lines, and stories about other people who built further on these sparkly lines. Yep, that’s about the gist of the documentary.

A penny definitely dropped concerning matters such as electric forces, atoms and something about light being a combination of electricity and gravity – ok, so maybe a full penny didn’t drop, but definitely at least, a bit of a penny. However, I thought the greatest thing about the documentary were the stories about all of the scientists behind these amazing theories, discoveries and inventions.

In particular, that of Emilie du Chatelet – a massively understated scientist and mathematician of the 18th century (by the time her work really entered the scientific mainstream, the idea that a woman had come up with such ideas was discredited so much that even scientists who did use her ideas came to forget who had originated them).

Emilie

Emilie du Chatelet was also incredibly talented in languages, tiggy (according to the documentary), and good at pulling lovers – which unfortunately was ultimately her tragic demise, falling pregnant to a hot young thing, at what back then was a super risky age of 43, and then sadly dying shortly after giving birth. She did a lot of cool shit during not only her short life, but a life of a woman in a society where the notion of educating girls was disliked and discouraged. She is definitely worth googling. I did. I loved it.

One of the things she is most well-known for is her work on translating and providing commentary on Isaac Newton’s work Principia Mathematica [What?! – Amazing]. Her contributions have helped shape the course of mathematics and the development of science. You read about her, and she is also described as having managed to maintain her confidence and position in Paris society whilst continuing to pursue her love for mathematics. In other words, an all-round top bloke.

Voltaire, one of her lovers, and long term friend, wrote in a letter to King Frederick II of Prussia that Emilie was “a great man whose only fault was being a woman”.  It appears he dumped her as a lover because she was smarter than him, being afraid of her seeing his weaknesses (despite having been attracted to her in the first place by her intelligence) – what an idiot. However, Emilie insisted that she would be fine without Voltaire, writing that it was “preposterous to think that an intelligent woman needed a man to be happy”. Queue, “I don’t need a man to make me happy, I get off being free” streaming loudly from Emilie’s i-pod dock, whilst continuing to critique Newton’s laws of motion – obviously.

One of my ex-lovers wrote about me once, “McAwkward was a great woman, whose only fault was being bat shit crazy.” I guess he was afraid of me being able to see his crazy on account of my insight into my own crazy…. jokes. However, I really wouldn’t be surprised if this was true, considering I am obviously a great woman, and yep, I am probably bat shit crazy.

crazy

I digress.

I have no real “point” to this post, except to just point out how awesome Emilie is. I like to think we would have been best friends if I was also born in Paris in the early 1700’s. Alas, I was not born in either Paris or the 1700’s, so I will instead blog about her and add her to my list of inspiration women. She fucking owned it. And by own it, I mean she rocked the shit out of life, and was completely unapologetic about who she was.

I know I will definitely not be playing any pivotal role in the further development of the concept of energy, or in the development of any aspect of science for that matter, nor will I be writing any text that will be my claim to immortality, however, I am definitely going to do my best to “own it”, and rock out life the best I can, with no apologies about who I am to anybody.

I’m totally going to go and listen to I’m Every Women by Chaka Khan now.

Dear anterior cingulate cortex, bitch don’t kill my vibe

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I recently realised that the reason why I am single is obviously because I am really really good looking. One of my friends pointed out one morning after a night out that upon further inspection of photos from said night, one guy in particular was actually really attractive, but so attractive that she could never actually be interested. Queue light bulb moment to the only reasonable explanation as to my state of singleness.

I’m even more incredibly good looking than Derek Zoolander himself

I’m even more incredibly good looking than Derek Zoolander himself

It just makes sense, a guy sees me, is blown away from my beauty, and assumes that he has no chance with me because I am just so much more beautiful than he is, and so doesn’t even bother to try. Or if he does bother to try, he speaks to me and realises that not only am I a 15/10 on a physical beauty scale, but also, I am a borderline genius, and so assumes he would not be intelligent enough to keep me interested. He would also probably be intimidated by the fact that I would be much funnier than he is too – triple whammy!

So basically, I am screwed. But unfortunately, not in a literal meaning of the word.

“I was very fond of them… if only they would have had me.” – Schopenhauer on women, and now McAwkward on men.

Schopenhauer wasn’t very successful when it came to women, obviously because they were unable to relate to such a man of genius… my problem is much more serious, since on top of being a borderline genius, I am perfectly good looking.

Although, perhaps I’m not screwed, since as a woman of such genius, it is quite impossible to be sociable, my own monologues indeed being much more intelligent and entertaining than any dialogue I could ever have with any man.

Therefore, although I will be alone forever, and quite possibly unscrewed in the literal sense, at least I won’t be as bored as what I would be if I wasn’t alone – having to deal with the dialogue of a man that would never match up to my needs or expectations. Also, being alone allows me more time to look at myself in the mirror, rather than at someone else, and be reminded of how the universe every now and then can really create something quite beautiful and perfect.

Ahem…

The reality is, and this is the case for many of my other girlfriends too, when someone is not interested, often my first reaction is to think of something negative about myself as to why this is the case – and certainly not to think of something positive, and most definitely conveniently forgetting about any time when someone has actually been into me.

It must be because my milkshake isn't good enough

It must be because my milkshake isn’t good enough

Some of us seem more predispositioned than others to store turn downs forever and to forget complimenting words or behaviour as though they were never spoken or existed to begin with. Why is it that upon being “turned down” or otherwise simply not being pursued by someone, some people’s instinct is to immediately think of something that tears them down, rather than builds them up.

As was spoken in Pretty Women, “The bad stuff is easier to believe.”

In some good news, I have had a new found confidence since my holiday earlier in the year – something I credit for the compliments I have received since then on my “holiday glow”, since as we all know from my last post, I was certainly not glowing as a result of any physical change in colour. I was just sick of being so negative about the way I look all the time, and letting it affect me in such a detrimental way, and somehow, I managed to finally gain some control over it, accept me for who I am and to be happy with that.

The extra happiness I have experienced since then has motivated me to continue feeling confident. It also allowed me to accept that it wasn’t a completely unfathomable notion that one day someone great would like to be with me, and so to stop pretending like I was happy to be single forever.

However, I feel like I must have a predisposition to seize on the most self-critical thoughts I can come up with – but I know I don’t want to do this – however, despite my new found confidence, I know I have come really close to letting go of it a few times, particularly when I have been in a position where I felt some form of rejection.

Which is stupid, because we can all be rejectors at various times, and from that, we each know it’s not necessarily because of something wrong or negative we thought about the person we were rejecting (I know I’ve rejected hanging out with my friends once before so that I could stay home and eat an entire block of chocolate and tub of ice-cream in my track pants whilst watching Miss Congeniality 2 – this is certainly not any reflection on them). And obviously I just made that last example up to demonstrate a point, because clearly I would never do such a thing…

On y va.

Louann Brizendine, a neuropsychiatrist, wrote a book called The Female Brain. In it she explains that “there’s an area of your brain that’s assigned the task of negative thinking.” It’s the judgmental part of the brain which says things like ‘I’m too fat’ or ‘I’m too old’. It’s the “barometer of every social interaction you have. It goes on red alert when the feedback you’re getting from other people isn’t going well.”

The part of the brain responsible for this is called the anterior cingulate cortex and apparently, in women, it’s larger and more influential, than in men. Mine must be stupidly large, like oozing out of my ear holes, or maybe that’s what boogers actually are? However, luckily I’m not actually too stupid to know (alas, I’m borderline genius remember!), that we shouldn’t just accept our limitations or weaknesses – they are there to be challenged and developed!

So anyway, I’ve realised that my next step of this new found confidence journey, is to be acutely aware of this “red alert signal”, never to leave it unchallenged, and anytime I notice negative thoughts creeping in and getting all up in my grill, take a moment to say to said negative thoughts:

dont kill my vibe

Ok, so maybe telling myself it’s because I am stupidly good looking and more intelligent than anyone else in the world, is taking it a little too far… But it would be nice if rather than letting turn downs/rejections/uninterest exacerbate our insecurities, people held on to an unquestionable belief that they are a special person with potential, capabilities and attractive qualities.

Wasted melodrama

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I recognised a long time ago now, that I have a tendency to be quite dramatic when I am sick [For example, the time when I said my final goodbyes whilst being in the midst of food poisoning - see http://sanityandcigarettes.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/body-revolting/]. More recently though, I have realised that when I’m in a state of drunkeness, along with having a heightened sense of humour and wit, transforming into an irresistibly sexy looking dancer and being everybody’s next best friend [these qualities of course according to my drunken self at the time, but I’m sure are completely accurate]… I can also be quite the drama queen – a dramatic drunkard.

Kingdom of Drama - population 1 drunk McAwkward

Kingdom of Drama – population 1 drunk McAwkward

I’m not really sure if I’ve always been a dramatic drunkard, and just never realised or acknowledged it before, or, if indeed my comatosed induced dramatising is a new thing. Either way, I am finding it quite amusing… which, let’s be honest, is only going to encourage me to continue to be a drunken fiend for drama.

Whether it’s:

  • informing someone I want to die by imitating the cutting of my throat on account of one of my friends being overseas for 3 weeks, instead of just saying, “I miss her but will see her when she gets back”;
  • responding to a guy who says “I’ll be in touch,” with a questioning look and dramatic “yeah, that’s what all men say when they won’t be in touch,” and ranting about how awful men can be, instead of just saying “cool, speak then”; or
  • walking up to a cute stranger I’ve noticed around the hood, and announcing to him, “I’ve seen you before, and this may make me seem like a stalker, but I also know where you live,” despite not knowing where he lives and not just saying a normal undramatic “hi, I think we should combine our bloodlines.” [Ok - maybe just "hi"].

A little dramatic right?

However, strangely enough I’m not at all embarrassed, I am just simply amused. And since on any scale that indicates a level of weirdness as against normalness, I will always be placed on the weird end of the scale, this dramatic way of communicating really doesn’t shock nor surprise me on sober reflection.

The worst thing that could happen is perhaps scaring off potential new friends or suitors and destining myself to a sure existence as a crazy old single cat lady… or, as was the result of being a dramatic drunkard on Saturday night, walking for an hour during the wee hours of the morning and risking the chance of being kidnapped and murdered [and I am starting to realise that perhaps I am slightly inclined to being dramatic just generally - drunken antics of a drama queen, or dramatic antics of a drinking queen?!].

In fact, Saturday night was full of various bouts of drama on my behalf. I’m not really sure why, but maybe it was on account of being at a house party where I hardly knew anyone, and therefore didn’t have enough accountability, slash wanted to see what kind of reactions I could elicit from these new intriguing people? I guess we will never know – one of life’s glorious mysteries that we will ALL die wondering about I suppose…

But anyway, back to Saturday night.

Firstly, when the election results were made official, I found myself being the only Labour supporter in a room full of “Coalitioners” whom were all very excited regarding the victory for the Coalition. Had I been in a room with other similarly politically inclined people as myself, I probably wouldn’t have made a very big deal about the result, but that wasn’t the case and therefore I felt the need to be extremely passionately upset by it all and not in any way be backwards in coming forward over my disappointment at everybody else’s joy.

I made sure that the people around me were fully aware that Australia had just taken SOOOO MANY steps backwards, and then I left the room to take a nap upstairs with my friends I had accompanied the party with, whom were conveniently sleepy. We fell asleep for about 30 minutes. Yes, that’s right, we had a nap at a party, and it was just enough time for me to emotionally move on from the election results and be able to re-join the group without the risk of appearing happy and having fun as a consequence of my satisfaction over said results.

So by the time we came back down from our nap, everybody else had elevated their levels of drunkenness, and I was also ready to guzzle a few more drinks down. Queue the failed attempt at cutting limes for my gin, and the successful attempt at slicing my thumb open, and the pouring out of blood. Of course it was a necessity that I tell anyone I met about my cut, and continuously proclaim that I was probably dying.

After realising that people were quite shocked and disgusted by the blood, this only encouraged me to continue showing off my injury, and informing people that they were lucky to have had the opportunity to meet me before my inevitable death by knife. And I’m sure lucky to meet me is exactly what they felt.

Upon deciding that I was ready to go home, I announced as such to my new friends. A guy in a mullet wig said I shouldn’t walk out alone, and that one of the guys should walk with me at least until I was able to find a taxi. I thought this was entirely sexist and was all like, “I don’t need no man!”, clicked my fingers, and quickly walked out so as to avoid being chaperoned. However, someone did manage to chaperone me, and for about 5 minutes until we got to the main road, I whinged about not needing him to walk with me, complained that it felt like we had been walking for hours and that the walking coupled with my blood loss was sure to cause me to die, and I’m pretty sure I sat down a few times on the curb and dramatically ushered, “just go on without me.”

We approached the main road and a group of people from the party had caught up to us (unsurprisingly, on account of my curb antics) so I told the guy to get a taxi with them, as my house was right around the corner. However, my house was not right around the corner, and I continued to walk for a further 45 – 60 minutes until I did finally reach my home… the whole way refusing to hail a taxi on account of wanting to prove a point about being able to walk home alone perfectly ok without a man. And in case you had ever wondered, that’s what feminism at 4.00am looks like – melodrama not so wasted afterall…

Vulnerable vampire vagabond

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Who goes on a summer holiday when taking medication that by prescribing you to avoid the sun at all times, turns you into a wannabe vampire… this superstar right here (I’m pointing to myself).

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The initial game plan of pretending like I wasn’t on said medication and that I would tan into a beautiful summer goddess regardless (I could only assume this based on the fact that I normally transform into a beautiful goddess every summer…) definitely did not work out for me (I’m not even going to paint a picture of how badly it worked out for me, suffice to say, at one point I thought I was going to die from the flames the sun created on my skin*).

The subsequent game plan was to invest in big hats, scarves, umbrellas, hardcore sunscreen and become best friends with the shade. Shade and I are now well acquainted (although little does Shade know that by the time summer hits Australia, I’ll probably forget all that he did for me in the last month, and say hello again to my old friend, Sun). Anyway, so there I was sitting on a yacht in Croatia, lathered in 40spf and sitting in the shade, whilst the rest of my crew was on the deck transforming into tanned little bitches.

But it didn’t even matter. That’s right, life’s not all about getting a sick wicked tan and showing off just how good your holiday was by the tone of your skin (sorry, I should have warned you to sit down before I let out that shocking piece of information so willy nilly). That’s not to say I didn’t experience a touch of jealousy, I’m only human after all. But it definitely was a good life lesson for me – it’s not all about the tan.

And for others on the sailing trip, I’m sure my apparent disdain towards the sun despite having booked myself onto a yatch for a week, was quite entertaining. Although for my co-cabiner and long time friend, McBootyshaker, my body covering, sun avoiding antics were certainly not the most entertaining thing I would have done. I think it’s safe to say her waking up to my bum in her face after I stumbled onto the boat the first night quite drunk, but nevertheless apparently not incapable of getting naked, yet incapable of taking my bag off our bed or sleeping the right way… I think that’s going to be something that stands out more prominently in her mind.

So, that was a very long winded way of wanting to eventually say, my summer holiday has just come to an end, and despite its few challenges (I also didn’t mention that in New York I almost died from being melted alive due to a heat wave and in France I almost died from not being able to breath due to the flu and/or a macaron overdose), I’ve had a lot of fun, valued catching up with friends, learnt more about myself and had plenty of time to think a lot and take in my experiences (it actually went deeper than realising life is not just about getting a good tan).

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Before I left for holiday (apart from psyching myself up to being ok about wearing a bikini), I was pondering the power of vulnerability and whether I would lead a more happy, fulfilling and loving life if I allowed myself to become more vulnerable with someone. Vulnerable in the sense that I allow someone to truly see me for who I am, all my thoughts (insane as they may be) and all my feelings (and at the same time, not be afraid to have those feelings).

I started thinking about it about a month ago after I had a conversation with a friend about how we both share a similar resistance towards truly letting ourselves fall for someone and being open to falling in love – not because we don’t like the idea of falling in love, but because our self protective mechanisms get the better of us. I could try to blame people from my past that I’ve been hurt by for this, but I am smart enough to realise that I am the only person in control of my actions and decisions and to know that the only person that can change or develop me, is me.

I’m also sure that this is a very common trait in many people – most of us have experienced pain or hurt on account of other people that we once held dear, or at least seen it happen to someone close to us. Hence, I know my friend and I are certainly not alone in keeping ourselves at arm’s length in the romance department.

Knowing that I like to frequent the TED website, my friend recommended that I watch a talk called “The power of vulnerability” by Brené Brown – a talk about our ability to empathize, belong and love. So I trundled off and watched said talk.

I won’t go into detail about the talk or give any kind of critical analysis of it, apart to say that I found it slightly “wishy washy” and not particularly that enlightening. However, I do believe that sometimes we need to be reminded of certain things in life, no matter how “unenlightening” – so even though BB didn’t really say anything that really blew my mind away, she did make a good point concerning vulnerability and the need for it if you ever want a real connection with someone to occur…. and it has been on my mind ever since.

I’m not so naïve as to think that if I stay closed off and too self-protective, that I will be able to experience a strong sense of love and connection with someone… so it should seem obvious that I need to stop being so afraid and trying to outsmart my feelings – obvious doesn’t mean it has happened. I realised over the past few weeks that it is time for me to be aware that I often self-sabotage and to stop myself from doing it, and make an effort to become more vulnerable.

I have fallen in love once, and I know that it is an amazing feeling and I know that I would love to meet someone special one day that I could push all my love onto, be loved back, talk together, laugh together, make memories together and combine our blood lines together (and the practicing thereof). However, I’m not sure I would ever give myself even a good chance of all this if I don’t allow myself to be vulnerable, take risks with someone and let them know and see everything I have to offer, knowing full well they could hurt me, but taking that risk anyway.

I’m still not really sure when the right time is to let yourself become vulnerable with someone, but I’m sure this will become clearer with time and experience. Perhaps there is no precise answer? However, I am happy to say, that I actually do put my words to action. Yes, it may have been easier because I was on holiday, so I didn’t have the normal distractions of everyday life getting in the way, but during this holiday, I let myself be somewhat free.

I let myself feel something “tingly” about someone without initially trying to analyse it or push it away, and I didn’t try to hide it either. And the point isn’t even if it was reciprocated, or even whether I should have been so open so quickly, or even whether they are feelings that mean anything or could mean anything, but the point is, I let myself be completely who I am, and not ashamed to be anything else or let rules of society or my past dictate what I should feel or how to deal with those feelings.

There’s nothing like a few near death experiences, partying too hard on a boat in Croatia or eating too many macarons in France, for you to do something really crazy like jump off cliffs into the water – literally or metaphorically (I totally did both incase you didn’t quite get that! I’m a real life dare devil)!

*disclaimer: I can be a drama queen when I’m sick, I probably wasn’t actually going to die Probably.

Do you really say it best, when you say nothing at all?

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What are first impressions, why do we have them, and how much should we rely on them? To me, it seems first impressions are really just making an instant judgment about someone, based on a pretty small amount of information. Seems kind of insane really when you consider the many facets and levels to a person.

I’ve been thinking about first impressions lately on account of having recently realised I was completely wrong about someone that I initially decided had snobby tendencies, was careless towards other people’s feelings, and just too different from me for us ever to be good friends. Thinking we could never be good friends, I made no effort to be anything more than just acquaintances or to get to know her better. Now, however, I think I would actually be really lucky to have her as a good friend, and I can’t believe that I almost missed out on the opportunity simply because of my ill-informed, inaccurate first impression – despite having always thought I was pretty good at “sussing people out”.

Instant judgments are definitely influenced by our intuition… and as history can show us, as well as our own personal experiences, intuition can often be wrong.

Does this mean that we should ignore our intuition and resist the urge to develop a first impression of someone – and I guess, since intuition lacks a conscious reasoning, ignore our intuition generally? Since my intuition recently let me down, I have been doubting the use of intuition as a legitimate judgment informer, and wondering whether it is ridiculous of me to make a judgment about someone, however big or small, without truly knowing them… and taking it one step further, making a judgment about any kind of situation I find myself in, without fully understanding all the relevant factors, considering them and analysing them, before reaching a decision.

When you think about it from an evolutionary or biological perspective, intuition is extremely important. I’m guessing it would have been pretty vital to be able to make decisions in an instant in order to stay alive. Even when meeting another person for the first time… I imagine Person A walking through the forest, and comes across Person B and their gut feeling is that Person B is savage, hungry and horny (probably on account of Person B looking at them with rape eyes and chewing their own finger out of hunger), but thinks, “Now now Person A, don’t be so judgmental, I’m sure there are many layers to this person, that I just do not understand, and maybe I shouldn’t be so quick to judge and actually get to know them before thinking they are a crazy pyscho who…” and meanwhile Person B proceeds to rape, murder and feast on Person A. But – if Person A had just trusted their instincts, they would have run away immediately and avoided said rape, murder and feast!

"Hi Person B, my intuition tells me you are creepy as fuck and to run away from you as fast as I can ... but since my intuition can be wrong, I won't run and will get to know you... Person B, why are you sucking out my soul?"

“Hi Person B, my intuition tells me you are creepy as fuck and to run away from you as fast as I can … but since my intuition can be wrong, I won’t run and will get to know you… Person B, why are you sucking out my soul?”

Whilst probably not so important from an evolutionary perspective anymore, I’m sure first impressions are a result of us developing a sense of whether someone is going to hurt us, either physically or emotionally – and also in our modern day, because we simply don’t have time to be friends with everyone, so working out in an instant whether we like them or not (and our subconscious mind would tell us this from our past experiences with other people), saves us from trying to pursue a friendship with someone who we won’t get along with anyway.

I’ve come to realise that, just because my intuition may be wrong on occasions, this is no reason to all of a sudden begin to discount it and subscribe it any less value. Intuition is a necessity to life, but as necessary as it is, we just need to remember that what it does is give us an immediate sense of the truth, which is completely subjective, and therefore, obviously subject to error.

This doesn’t mean intuition should be discounted, it just means we need to be open to the fact that we could be wrong, and not be afraid of, or be too proud to, being wrong. In fact, realising we are wrong about something, will only cause our intuition to be even more finely tuned, because this would contribute to our unconscious accumulated experiences and acknowledgements to inform future judgments.

Intuition may be effortless, immediate, unreasoned and open to error, but the older, wiser, more experienced and educated we become, the better our intuition will become also – and the beauty is, without us even having to think about it getting better, it just gets better, because we get more awesome the older we get (speaking from personal experience).

So I have decided that I am happy to let intuition shape my impressions, relationships and decisions. They help avert danger (I for one do not feel like taking any chances on getting raped, murdered and then eaten), but they also allow us to unlock our subconscious mind, which we are developing every single day – human intelligence is more than just logic and rational reasoning.

So, if you feel you are right about something, if you are a smart, well-rounded, generally awesome person like me, then you probably are right… but if something is put right in front of your face that seems to prove you are wrong, take the time to understand it and challenge your thinking – that’s where the beauty of the cortex and the rational mind steps in!

And that’s my bit on intuition – I’m glad we’ve figured this one out…