It’s OK to make mistakes

I never understood the “No Regrets” phase .. I saw girls scream it out while throwing their cosmos in the air, I see it tattooed on wrists, backs and chests of mostly people who were brought up in the 90’s era.

For me, I never believed it.. I call bullshit on the whole thing, because for one.. I can list off a number of mistakes I have regrets about.
So for everyone who can sometimes feel the same way with a conscious that sends your mind into overload – I’m going to let you know that I’ve been there. I would say we all have but I also know there will be some head strong ‘free as a bird’, yolo phrase loving individuals who will swear they really don’t have regrets.

So here it is, another little insight of my life to hopefully help people remember we are all human beings, as fucking messed up as one can get, someone else is right there with you.

1. Living your life on the verge of alcohol poisoning –

Well well well, it isn’t a surprise that I don’t handle my alcohol. But for 2 years I made some of the best memories with my Airlie family. We drank, we laughed, we danced and we made fools of ourselves with a little less dignity.
Unfortunately some of these times ended up with regretful nights or mornings of disappointing other people. It could have been your best friend who you got into an argument with, it could have been missing out on seeing a guy you were looking forward to catching up with only for him to later see you in the worst possible state or the biggest mistake – losing motivation to get my life sorted with study, exams, assignments or work shifts. I went from living a life of strict health, control and isolation; to a world of the drinking town with a sailing problem.

Working hospitality can come with serious addictions to let loose when we finally get to the other side of the bar.
We all do crazy shit after a few shots, there will always be someone with a camera and you might not remember most of it. You may feel like a mess with judgement coming down on you like a tonne of bricks, but who hasn’t been in that state? When it comes to the relationships you have, people will forgive you. But you may not always forgive yourself.
When you’re surrounded by this, it is hard to break the fun away from friends – but don’t get stuck in a damaging lifestyle. If you want to play hard, work harder.

2. – Not taking that opportunity..

You may have passed up on some volunteer work, because you needed to pay bills. You could have quit an industry with a stable career handed to you. You may have been convinced to stay in a relationship because love feels better than working your arse off for your employer and after all ‘it’s only a job, we can always go back.’ – Not always. I’ve done all of the above and I’m not sure if I regret it but I could have made smarter choices.
My mishaps could be having an impulsive urge to quit, booking a trip away and coming back home to no job, no footstep into the door and back to serving alcohol 7 nights a week or two part time jobs.
I think when it comes to our own career choices – there is passion – the love for your own ambition and chasing what may seem impossible, and the mixture of what you think is ‘right’ – this may be what your family or friends want to persuade is right and a built up pressure from yourself of being successful. Before other people tell you that you’ve lost it all, and criticise your choice – remember that today, it is a lot harder to survive – and you are doing the best you can to stay ahead while continuing to move forward.
I’ll be the first to admit I could have done a lot of things differently, and for those who know me, my career is a massive part of who I am. I took a big break from my goals to get my happiness back on track – I know a lot of people who have, but you’ll notice people who made that choice, whether it was a regret or not – they’ll be the ones who come back better than ever.

“What are you doing with your life?”.. It’s a surprise.

3. – Remember that time you were seeing… shut your mouth

I’m sure we have all been there. This mistake is probably one that is better remembered over a bottle of wine and a lot of laughing. Whether you’re a guy or a fellow chick, we’ve had some fucked up flings. They were crazy, we were crazy, someone was always naive and the other too arrogant. Speaking of which, less than 24 hours of living in Brisbane and one of those regrets from 5 years ago decided to send me a superlike on Tinder..

No thaaaanks. You can skip right along.

4 – Not spending enough time with family
For the first time in 6 years I moved back closer to my family, but I didn’t see them as much as I wish I did. With all our own lives moving ahead or the busy days in which we forgot to take a step back from, I hardly saw them. I should have took more days off work, I should have made more of the effort to drive a short 2 hours and I should have been around them more. Now I’m further away.
That is a regret I can’t or won’t justify. It isn’t a regret ok to have.

5 – Failing Uni courses
University was one of the most toughest times for me. I’m not a good student. I think I shocked the family when I decided to study. I was indecisive then impulsive. I thought I’ll make everyone happy and proud of me if I went off to uni. To be honest when I was first out of school, I wasn’t ready. At 17 years old and inexperienced of the world, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I loved the idea of the future employment – at the time I just wanted to work with animals and care for animals and play with all the animals in the world. I was always a hard worker and as I’ve said before I gained my work ethic from my parents. But study is a whole other ball game. Hundreds of dollars on books, accomodation and stationary, while trying to not fall asleep in a boring as hell lecture. There were very few classes that kept my interest at university. I felt incapable of being successful.
The worst feeling is everybody elses expectations of you succeeding at uni. Majority of university students have failed at least one or two courses. STATS had an 80% failure rate. (Yep, I was one of them).
I began with one degree then transferred to another. 8 years since leaving highschool, it took to finally complete and graduate. I transferred, I failed, I quit. Now I look back at it, I could have done a lot dissimilarly. I regret not studying longer, I regret letting my personal life drive away my responsibility and I regret giving up 60% of the time. But regardless of that, I got there.
I was mentoring young girls at a school through a science program about Women in the Science industry. Most of my speech was about allowing yourself to be realistic, work hard and give yourself time. Whether it takes 3 years or 10 years – you’ll reach your goal.
If you are studying, or thinking about studying – please remember it is ok to go at your own pace. If you happen to skip out on passing a course, don’t let bad results disenheart you, let it be your motivation. The only person you need to keep sane, and proud, is yourself. It will be difficult at times, but defenitely worth it.

6 – Spending your life savings each week –

Story of my life – I use to think I was great at saving – but when you go from a heavy pay check – to struggling with the casual part time jobs you now have – funds are low and your spending habit is high. If there is one thing I am jealous of, it is people who have the ability to save money. Now I won’t claim to be high maintenance and a big spender, but what I am is irresponsible – don’t worry that is changing.

I may have accumulated bills – only for it to obviously triple because I was too lazy to just pay it at the start. Dinner out with friends, spending more money on other people than I probably should (I don’t mind that), moving alot, taxi fares, seafood platters, clothes I never wear – it all adds up. I was never ok with money, I borrowed and I was owed too.
Living the paradise lifestyle on limited pay in sunshine really took its toll on me. Everytime I tried to save to move on, there would be another bill, and less shifts through our quiet seasons at work. 2017 will be the year of budgeting and seeing a financial planner.

7- Not giving someone a chance –

Girl meets guy, they hang out – mutual interest – and surprising enough, they are both decent level headed people. Girl suddenly drops off the face of the planet.
To this day it still is a bit of a mystery to why I have let this happen. I get so caught up in my own world – I focus too much on the future and where I need to be rather than enjoying anything at the time. But where has that left me? Here. I’m fine, great actually. But that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t have been if I let my guard down – I could still be great, but with someone who actually loves everything about me.

A girlfriend of mine always says “I’m not going out on any dates, guys are shit.” – My advice – lower your expectations of someone, we are all human. I’m not perfect, you’re not perfect. No one will be the perfect person, and you can’t expect them to. (She is still wanting to prove me wrong on that one)

Girls, if he is a decent man, learn to break away from your independence and expectations. Stop complaining that no one is interested. There most likely is – you just need to stop expecting the grass to be greener somewhere else. Because you may miss out on someone pretty fucking amazing. (That goes for all the guys complaining too)

With plenty of mistakes we can learn to value the lessons that they come with. Make one mistake, make it twice or just keep making it until you realise what it is that you really want out of life.
Regret comes with a ripple effect – so try not be too harsh on anyone that has made a misguided act by you. Instead, be that underlying support they’ll appreciate and thank later. We all make mistakes – but at the end of the day, what gets us through it is the people that surround us and hold our hands until the moment of self doubt has passed.

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The ugly truth about grudges. (Part two)

When I was little, I could get so angry at someone, but they would never know. I would get so angry that I would just break down and cry (typical INFP).
Then that would be it.
I would forget, and they probably never even knew they upset me.

Mini Dakota was clearly more switched on to staying happy, because as you grow up and people hurt you in worse ways it isn’t easy to forget.

What you don’t learn is that while you’ve become great at proving your fury, if you’re not careful, you will also compromise your own happiness.

2 years prior to now there were a few ups and downs that indirectly shaped what roads I have been taking since.  I honestly believed at the time those 2 years had shaped my life forever, but I think that was a part of my emotionally unstable and melodramatic character.
One of my previous blogs, I wrote about an ex love.  I think it was love, I wouldn’t have a clue to be honest, but what I do know is at the time it went from whatever love it was to hate with a passion.  There was no turning back, there would never be any reminiscing and no forgiving.  I was determined to be angry at Mr. Narcissist for, what I thought, would be the rest of my life.

So here is part two…

I disappeared pretty quick to completely forget the shit storm. Supported by friends and family, I chased the delusional thought of being happy with ‘Ignorance is Bliss’ as my life motto.
Turns out I was still running into a downward spiral and doing what I do best, bottle it up, screw the cap on and ignore the problem, which for someone who had at the time been diagnosed with major depression, it was all about to unravel.

There I was, skipping off to a new town and meeting new faces.

What people don’t tell you, when they’re saying

“you’re brave, stay strong”
“don’t look back”

Is that running away, with such an intense hateful grudge, does you more damage than none.

Growing up (and being a true Gemini) I could never hold a grudge. I hate conflict, it was never worth the awkward situation and I liked my happy little bubble.  If I ever have an argument with anyone, just wave a donut in my face. Seriously, I will forget ever being angry and imagining myself pushing you into a stream of hot burning lava.
Trust me, bribery works.

I would never forget what someone did or said to me, I would just forget to stay in a bad mood over it.

But, not this time. I screwed up the sorry letters, threw the flowers in the bin and yeah ok, I ate the cupcake (as if I would ever just waste that).

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At that point, no amount of crawling back would have worked for old mate.

I remembered everything, I remembered the amount of pain, I remember the hatred I had, I remember every little horrible detail of the cheating, mind games, control and by then it was too late.
I became a vault that held onto the grudge for a year and a half. While you have your support, no one can understand or explain to you that this negativity and bitterness will control you.  It will bring you down and as you’re sitting there thinking you’re a better and bigger person for running off and turning away from a rough patch, it will be the anger that keeps you from crawling your way out of the depressive hole they dug.

Everything shifted. It wasn’t my ex that had the power to make bad decisions. He didn’t force me to stay out till 3 am drinking and thinking the world owed me a favour or any other shitty excuse to get drunk with the girls. He didn’t force me to keep pushing people away.
If I met a guy with the same name, I wouldn’t have given him a sideway glance.

Same job? Nope.
Same car? Nope.
Same look? No.
Fuck, same star sign? Oh, hell no.
I once had a psychic tell me, “Your true love will be a man with short dark hair, age of 25 and either a Taurus, Capricorn or Virgo”
I quickly laughed that off and replied with, “we can knock out Virgo because that’s never happening again”.

I wasn’t an approachable person. I got called intimidating by some men, I never knew exactly why, but I will admit I didn’t give the time of day. It wasn’t personal, I never gave anyone the time of day.

It wasn’t entirely his fault that I second guessed everyone’s intentions.  I judged people for my past with him, except that mistake was on me.  I got so good at despising Mr Narcissist that there was not one day I didn’t think about him.
When truth be told, angry thoughts lurked my own mind, while he happily got on with his life.

That is not healthy.  I was so unhappy for over a year just because I held onto that grudge.  And for what reason?  I wasn’t near him. There was no contact. Yet I worried my friends so much because I let this destroy the person I was. It was either a plague of fucking nightmares or panic attacks.

Eventually, you just become tired. Tired of the same hating thoughts, tired of people asking you questions about it, tired of putting an intense amount of negative energy into your life.

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I was never brave, strong or anything else daily memes describe breakups as. I was just fucking exhausted.  I simply, got over the past. I understand it isn’t simple for some people to ‘get over’ things, but for me it was never simple ‘to be angry’.

I know my closest friends don’t understand why I could let it go, but I need them to trust that I’m ok.  I don’t look back at the past, I don’t push people away, I don’t shy so much from social situations.

Who knows, I may even give another Virgo a chance.

The relationship I now have with my former flame, is friendship.  We don’t have any anger towards each other, he was happy I could finally be ok to have a conversation and I’m happy for him and where his life ended up.  I still respect him professionally and we ask each other for work and business advice constantly. I admire that he can still listen and respect my opinion with such massive aspects of life.

I guess in a way I’m thankful for a dramatic event like that, because now if I was to meet someone, I would be so grateful when they treated me kindly. If they didn’t, I know I won’t hold it against them, or myself and we can both move on to better things.

I like to think I’m understanding, I know empathy is such a strong moral of mine, and with this character I learnt how others can treat you and why.  From someone that had her own mental health issues happening and depression taking its toll, I could understand how you can’t control people, their thoughts, their actions. There isn’t any point questioning or trying to ‘fix’ people that have hurt you.

The biggest strength you do have is how you react.
Or how you don’t.

 “Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.”
– Carl Jung, Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist 

Sail Away

For the love of the ocean, paradise is seen out on the reef and felt by the experience of sailing.

dail awayay

After a year and half of living in the Whitsundays, I haven’t let myself enjoy enough time being a tourist. I don’t believe we can truly appreciate what this sea side town has to offer by sticking to the mainland.   We meet locals, backpackers, boaties and fellow Australians that come to our town to feel the sunshine, heat and lifestyle that isn’t known in the cities or country towns.

The true magnificence is the big blue that backdrops Airlie Beach. We have the opportunity to leave our responsibilities at the Marina and sail off into the unknown and discover our environment more intimately, something to be treasured. There are a number of boats and companies that offer trips overnight, or longer.  I had the chance to travel through OzSail and was off on the sailing yacht of Mandrake.

After a long week of working nights I welcomed the 3 day/2 night break. I had never done anything like this, out of a comfort zone and ready to go along for the ride.

After turning up to my group, I soon noticed I was the only Australian guest, not so uncommon for our backpacker town. Five Germans, two Asians, one French and myself. With a warm welcome and friendly hello, the skipper of Mandrake, Paul, promised they’ll look after me.  With a massive smile our host Laura welcomed us on board and from leaving the Marina until we arrived back, both her and Paul went above and beyond to assure our safety, security and smiles.

Sailing off into the sunset was beautiful to say the least. We were surrounded by rain in the distance and the island of Australia behind us. Conversations flowed of who we are and where everyone was from. Laura was our host, tour guide, Paul our skipper and they soon became our friend.  With rain and roughness expected, we were still promised a trip of a lifetime.

“I love the sunsets, the wildlife and meeting all the people that come on board! I love sailing…” – Laura, OzSail host

The first day we woke up and got excited for Whitehaven Beach.  Whitehaven is one of the most picturesque spots in Australia.  Voted as one of the top twelve beaches in the world by Trip Advisor, it is well known for not only tourists around the world, but photography, filming and a wedding destination.  It can see up to 350 people a day from the tourism industry in peak season and the visitors are still swarming in to swim in the blue sea and wander through national parks and along the white strand.

Taking time out to relax, bury my feet in the sand and zone out to the calm water and rolling clouds is exactly what I needed. Wandering up to Hill Inlet you can see why this is one of the most striking places on Earth and why it is captured as paradise.

dail away

 

Most days we expected to enter the stillness, but as this is Queensland it wouldn’t be true without a little roughness above the ocean. Jumping into the sea the water below was calm but chaotic with life. Water temperatures were warm and you soon become lost amongst the aquatic ecosphere.  With so much life surrounding you, it feels like you’re accepted into a new world.

This is why we have so much demand on tourism and OzSail will meet those needs.

Paul educates us on the species we are visiting and it is obvious this isn’t just a job to the crew, but their passion. To sail the Whitsundays is an option, but to sail with a company that have love for our environment that they see daily, is a charm.

Our last morning was astounding. We woke up and dived into Blue Pearl Bay.  One of the captains favourite spots for free diving and all of us were able to be encapsulated by the beauty. Blue Pearl Bay was beloved.

As our trip came to an end, we relaxed or even gave our best to try sail the boat ourselves. I left with new friends, an amazing experience and eagerness to get back to paradise one day soon.

The social acceptance of sending nudes and our modern dating life

“I’m not wearing an invisibility cloak, but do you think I can still visit your restricted section tonight” – Daniel, Tinder Member

I don’t need to be a Harry Potter fan to figure that one out. I’ve signed up to the popular dating/friendship/fucking app a couple of times now – ok maybe about 4.  Each time deleting it knowing you shouldn’t need an app to meet people. Every other time was simply used as a way to piss my ex off, meet new people in a new town and possibly meet someone worthy of beer and pizza.  Before I go on, I can’t completely knock the site. I have met a couple of decent friends by this little friendship app in the palm of my hand.

But the reason I decided to jump back on was for mere entertainment and a blog. A couple of weeks ago, a very close girlfriend of mine was telling me how a guy kept messaging her and even though she clearly explained that she wasn’t interested in dating him and nothing will happen, the silly fool went on to send a dick pic.

My question… Why?

Why do men think – Oh yep, this will change her mind – this pink disgusting sea cucumber will definitely get me the date I was just begging her for!

Men, please just stop – and if you do send an unwarranted dick pic – NEVER ASK WHAT WE THINK. I’ll tell you why…

My girlfriend – after receiving the pic was genuinely concerned.

“Dakota, I need to show you something… What is that!?”

Oh great… What I just saw could not be unseen. In fact it is still burned in my memory.

“Hun you need to tell him to see a doctor, he can’t possibly think that is ok, he needs to see a doctor.”
“But I don’t know him well enough to refer him to the doctor.”
“Well, he clearly thinks he knows you well enough to send a dick pic, maybe just let him know.”

After some curiosity, wine and google, we diagnosed the poor gent with PPP (go on, I know you will all whip out your phones for a quick search engine).

As you can read, it was nothing terminal but definitely a reason why you should not send dick pics. So why has it become socially acceptable. I jumped on Tinder to maybe figure out an answer to sexual greetings…

From the humorously entertaining and the frightening, Tinder had at all. Within a few swipes I had my first sexual gesture.  He lost points for the Harry Potter reference (sorry, Daniel) but gained some for correct spelling. My next interaction was complimenting my name – that it was rare – from someone with a name I couldn’t pronounce, Rairii (thanks buddy). Then a mixture of; “How ya goin’?”, “What’s doin’?” and other questions with poor grammar.

And jackpot! Someone with a sense of humour. I’ll let you in on a little secret, if you can make me laugh, you’re an 11 out of 10.
“And then I jumped off a cliff”
“ Sorry wrong convo”
“ – But I’m pretty dangerous anyway”

Shaine was funny, but I still didn’t respond. I’m the worst person with communication, I communicate 100% then drop off the face of the Earth. That doesn’t particularly matter because this is simply for a blog.

After matching with a few more nearby candidates I got asked a range of topics from rim jobs to my degree and how long I’ve been in Airlie. Surprising.
It’s well known guys send shit messages for entertainment or a creep factor, do any women answer, or laugh it off?

What if I flipped the switch from normal to fucking insane? How will men respond? Is there a double standard to crazy inappropriate messages? Let’s find out…

Peter – Tinder member

“Hey J how long are you in Airlie for? You wanna meet up?”

Anonymous acting on my behalf:
“Yeah I’m keen for some fun”
“Like how do you like it?”
“I’m pretty forward”
“Just really comfortable in my own sexuality”

Peter didn’t respond… (Possibly because I could personally think of better lines to catfish with)

Let’s see if Davide will respond..

Me: “Davide! That’s a nice name. I use to work with a Davide. He was in the Porn industry”
Davide: “Hi, thanks, nice to meet you. What are you doing?”

Me: “Just at work at the moment. I have to start filming soon”

No response… maybe I should lead into the craziness a little slower?
New victim… Matthew (he was a good sport – or not judgmental and maybe a little crazy himself)
Me: “Hey Matty!!”
Matthew: “Dakota”
Me: “and how’s your night going?”
Matthew: “It’s been alright. Just having drinks with a couple of mates. How’s yours going?”
Me: “It’s ok. I’m in a bit of pain from the dentist so taking it easy tonight”
Matthew: “Ah that doesn’t sound good, it sucks going to the dentist!”
Me: “It definitely does. I think I regret it”
Matthew: “I bet you do haha. So where abouts do you live?”
Me: “Bowen”
Matthew: “Oh nice! I’m down here at the moment”
Me: “Oh awesome. Yeah I really like Bowen, I just got out of incarceration a few months ago so it’s a nice change”
Matthew: “I could imagine it would be”
Me: “So many nice people, they don’t even stare”
Matthew: “I bet they check u out tho”
Me: “Yeah maybe. I tend to scare some people. Dentist fixed that though”
Matthew: “Well that’s good”
Time to speed it up…

Me: “Can I ask you a question Matty? I just think you might be easy to chat to”
Matthew: “Go for it”
Me: “So… While in prison my girls and I thought it might be a good idea to file our teeth into sharp points.. we had an obsession with twilight. Do you think I’ll find love if I keep my teeth like that? I just really like it.”
Matthew: “Wow! Haha maybe. R u being serious”
Me: “ ? yeah? Why wouldn’t I be”
Matthew: “It would be different. But if you like it keep it like that, it’s your choice at the end of the day”
Me: “Oh you’re so nice. I like Matthews. My clairvoyant said I would meet a Matthew in the future”
Matthew: “haha crazzy hey”
Me: “Do you think maybe we could meet? See if there is a ‘spark’?”
Matthew: “May I ask what you were inside for? Yeah sounds good”
Me: “Promise not to freak out?”
Matthew: “yeah”
Me: “So I fell in love with my highschool sweetheart. He didn’t seem to like that, anyway I just thought I could make him love me. I mean, it hurt me too. It hurt he didn’t love me. So I wanted to hurt him.  Turns out castrations isn’t allowed… But I’m totally not like that anymore!!”
Matthew: “How long were you inside fore, I just had a mate get out. Haha castration isn’t allowed… that’s funny”

At this point I’m starting to wonder whether Matthew is a really nice guy, or catfishing me too?

Me: “He deserved it. I would do it again”

I was then blocked… and Matthew if you ever read this. I fear for your safety.  Don’t date girls that neuter their boyfriends.

So after very little action… on Tinder, I gave up. I couldn’t be bothered to waste anymore data. I saw people I have met years ago that didn’t recognize me, I saw men that I thought were in relationships only to learn that they unfortunately broke up with their wife, and I also saw cheating men ‘looking for fun’ who I knew were in a very domesticated life with their oblivious girlfriends.  Which made me really sad for those women.

Maybe I didn’t get the answers I was looking for on how our dating world has changed. Generations have evolved from the chivalry to the occasional 4 am message via a phone.  No need to even call anymore.  Is this what it will be like for the next 10 years of my dating life?  I like to think I’m quite relaxed and not high maintenance but even I don’t want to just accept my next potential boyfriend to ask me out with a message of “so… are we together or can I get back on Tinder?”. I do expect to be respected and I’ll give respect back.

Let me just say, dating sucks. That label is even lost. You aren’t dating, you’re just “hanging out” – which is a bullshit excuse for someone to have a claim over you with no commitment. Women get made to be a bitch if she is upfront and says ‘I’m not interested’.  And men don’t have it any easier.   They might spend time getting to know someone, realise their heart isn’t in it, meet new girls then get labelled a ‘player’.

Regardless of those consequences honesty is the best policy, and we just have to remind ourselves that a sense of humour will help, but no one finds explicit photos attractive.  No girl wants to date a man sending dick pics to women and no guy will want to date a girl posting naked photos in bed while hash tagging #goodmorning #newbedsheets #pillowtalk

Keep it classy, honest and hold on to those photos for someone special.

Loyalty – a golden key to the cage

 

How many people do you know personally?
1227 Facebook friends? 300 over the space 10 years employment?
How many phone numbers have you memorised?  Who’s birthday do you not need a notification for?

If you were to make a phone call are you certain it would be answered, regardless of the time, day or night? There are few and far between that just know a voice will be on the other end.  Over the past few years, and I guess as anyone gets older they start to become exclusive of who they share their thoughts to. They’re unlikely friends and people I never would imagine to be in my life the ways that they are or have to meet in the situations that we did, but that’s just it. They are a part of it. Very few, and some very different to one another.

Conversations can vary on our lives, who we are, what has tore us down and what picked us right back up or even laughing until we cry and in those moments we are truly happy in our own little bubble of friendship nostalgia. When I need them the right person has lit up on my phone screen, like some psychic connection.
As nights go on, the phone calls turn into hours, late nights turn into mornings and voices turn into yawns and no matter what messed up shit comes out of your mouth, nothing said or heard is judged. It’s a different nature of friendship.
It isn’t stopping into a workplace for a quick hug and hello while frantically running off. It isn’t a surprising face that puts a grin on you for a few minutes until you part.

This kind of friendship is the loyalty that holds your sanity. These people are my backbone.  They’re the voice that gets me to fight battles.  The angel on my left and the devil on my right.
It is the defending voice when a tarnished opinion is overheard.  A type of loyalty that is a rarity among our social circles. The more people we meet in life; the cracks start to show.  You can watch it in a crowd of people, or small town. This is where you will get labelled a bitch when you haven’t accepted someone’s Facebook request. I’ve been absolutely blasted for it, much to my own amusement.
In saying this, I have also had some decent chats in this informal way of friendship, and put grudges to rest. I once received a message from a biologist, a young American man, Davey.  He was asking about how I got into my career and the type of work that it involved.  He had studied in Australia and had many friends here. We spoke quite a bit, not excessively but it was friendly, and always a good conversation about the environmental world and our profession.  About 2 weeks later I scrolled through my newsfeed and started to see RIP posts to his wall.  Shocked, I googled the news from a small American town and there it was, he had been the victim in a hit and run. Killed instantly in the early hours of the morning.

Friendship is sparked up from different ways, and in 2016, cyber space is easier than walking up to someone in the street. Maybe it’s because we can delete and forget, or our worry is hidden behind a computer screen. It is kind of concerning that we are becoming a generation that is adapting to social interaction via a monitor, rather than a friendly date.  Maybe this is what causes our increasing rate of anxiety in children.

Please don’t walk up to me and say anything friendly, I will freak out. Just stalk and message me on Facebook like a normal person?

It really is that sad of us. Personally, I will always give my time if you come up and say something to me in the street.  I’m not saying we would click or have some magical friendly spark, but you will get a response, and I will remember you.
I don’t like persistent Facebook messaging.

If there is social interaction, more often than not, there isn’t much active listening going on.
Active listening.
I learnt this technique in workshops, and it got me thinking, we need to be taught how to actively listen. This means, genuinely putting our thoughts aside and not interrupting someone in a conversation.  Really? We should just be doing that. But we don’t.  Next time try notice who you actively listen to.
We are constantly waiting for the opportunity to put in our two cents.  As soon as you know the topic, you stop listening, losing all concentration while trying to concoct some intelligent response to a conversation you’re not even attending.

Then there is the issue of false friends. Disingenuous people. I hear it all the time. Everyone casually greets one another sometimes followed with a snide remark.   One man or woman will talk about their dislike of another, while others nod and agree, laugh it off or pretend they don’t hear what is said about their friend.  What is friendship if they can’t defend you in your absence? It just red flags the people who don’t deserve your time.  Don’t let it be safe for anyone to trash your friends in front of you.  Be their defending voice.

Someone once said to me, “Do you know why I love you… you’d do anything for me, you’d bury a body for me”

I smirked, and we both knew that’s exactly what I would do.

I’m about to be 25 and it has become less about what materialistic things we have in common and more about the people we are.

Tell me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you who you are

I’ll never personally know many people, Facebook is an expenditure of false friendships and I change my phone number that many times, you’ll have it if I want you to have it.

But I hope the ones I keep closest, know how much they mean to me; after all they are the ones that made me the person I am today. I take comfort in their voice from a thousand miles away.  They are my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Everyone needs someone or some few they can see as the key to their cage, because it is golden.
It is love.
It is loyalty.

Atelophobia

Fear of not being good enough

Imperfection

Fear of failing

I have always noticed that I tend to start have a rush of thoughts when I think about the future.  The future involves starting a career, settling down, being in a relationship, earning money – and when I say earning money, I mean having a health care fund and insurance rather than living off a weekly pay check with my last $9 going towards a pack of lamingtons.
I have no idea where to even start when it comes to making responsible decisions about insurance, health care funds, assets, do I need to write a Will?

I, Dakota Caitlin Ellington, leave my entire life collection to…
Sorry to whatever lucky bastard this will be but my entire life collection is a sum of impulsive decisions, regret and embarrassing photos.  I don’t even have a loving pet.
I know it sounds melodramatic and I know I will eventually get my shit sorted, but when?

My biggest dream would be to dedicate my education, knowledge and skills to people who need it.  I want to be a voice for others who are fighting for their life from the environmental burden this world has created, or animals that are constantly treated poorly.  But what if I don’t? Atelophobia.
I want to be a loving person with a big heart, and have someone to be that person to. But what if I don’t? Atelophobia.  I’m petrified of never being good enough for someone.
I want to be able to be financially stable but I have made the decision to not work in the biggest economic industry in Australia – and I struggle daily with funds. I’m nearly 25 years old and living off my weekly bank account – barely. 

Truth is, I don’t know how to get my shit sorted. So what is Atelophobia to me?
Fear of failing, myself.  I’m scared to be a disappointment to others, but mostly, myself.  I always ask; If I were to die tomorrow, would I be happy with the person I am, or the position I am in. That question is what has lead me to make changes in my life. That question is what lead me to make career changes in my life, and that same question is what will help me decide what risks to take for the rest of my life.

I look around and see people that have travelled, own businesses, are soaring through their career but I have had this same conversation with them that I have had myself, they’re still scared of the future.  To me they’re some of the best people I know and I have watched them grow in different ways than I have myself. I’m proud of them and hope I can be even half the person they have achieved to be.

In a world of successful younger generations, high expectations of hard working older people and political shit storms, I think it is safe to say we have to give ourselves a break.  I’m surrounded by the same conversations with people that I have with myself.
Everyone is scared of disappointment, everyone is worried they won’t make it in life to where they want to go and we have all had some wild run with a bad life experience. The disappointments that you feel will give you doubt, but to someone else you will be their motivation.

 So how about we try something new..

Stop, look around, and realise it is the blind leading the blind.

You’re doing alright.   

Face side to a bad reputation

I’ve lived in a few different towns.  No matter whether it is a city or small village, there will be cliques, micro management, reputations, intimidation and fucking cowards.

An advantage of being a quiet person, is we watch. A lot. I’m someone who hears people talk, will remain weary, but will give anyone a fair go before I make any judgement. I would hope that’s how people would treat me.

Everyone has their own style, characteristics and personality but what will be shown to the public will usually be what they want you to see. For example, I like to get from A to B without trouble, some people have seen me walking and thought I looked like a snobby bitch. I admit my resting bitch face isn’t the most welcoming and I don’t like awkward conversation. Now, I’m fine with people thinking that.  To me, it can be exhausting being around people, which might sound rude but as the name indicates I’m introverted.  The truth about the person I am (and this is coming from someone who thought the above) – I’m chilled, not a snobby bitch, just a very quiet person who doesn’t let a lot of people get to know her.
When I have resting bitch face I’m generally concentrating on something, might be important but will most likely be day dreaming. My mind wanders easily and I don’t realise the impression people are looking at.

Sometimes the people that scream #fitlife #summerbody #cardio are hidden up in a room with a pipe more often than they are at the gym (controversial, but fact). Airlie Beach has an extremely dark side to the coastal happiness.  Throughout the public they are the free spirited, easy go lucky summer child. The wild partier that can always bring fun to the table but behind closed doors, be a danger to themselves.  A face of beautiful makeup won’t always look pretty with a nasty comment rolling off the lipstick shade.  The loving couple wandering down the street may consist of two people that are more alone with no connection.

And more often than once, the role is reversed.  Someone with a bad reputation may not show themselves because they know it is easier for the public to believe the worse and question the good.

I have heard lots of different stories about people around town.  I have watched as those people have gotten defensive or wore it on their shoulder.  How I act towards someone has nothing to do with rumours that are spread, because unless I trust you, I won’t take into consideration what is said.

People will always notice those who stand alone, rather than in a crowd.  It is easier to talk about someone amongst your group of friends when fearing that the person alone may be a better person than yourself.  If you walk around trying to tarnish someone’s image that doesn’t say much about them, but a whole lot about you. Insecurity. Intimidation.

Sometimes the person you’re looking at and making assumptions about them is aware of exactly what you’re thinking.  Boundaries might be pushed to amuse themselves with your judgement.

“Why should I change who I am just to make someone else feel comfortable? The people who say that I’m a bitch are the ones judging, and I don’t see them coming and saying hello while I’m just keeping to my own business, comfortable and content with myself.  I am not a snob, I smile at strangers, but because of my image, people think I’m stuck up. Would they still think that if I was ‘average’ looking and didn’t take pride in my appearance?”

This lady has a point.  Image will always indicate what people will think of you.  I know I like to dress up, but some days I couldn’t care to brush my hair and might not wear the most polished clothes and those are the days I won’t be approached to sit in a fancy restaurant by the matre di.  I’ve been a waitress; I know who your manager wants in the restaurant for their ‘look’.

What if a reputation is so tarnished it cannot be defended?  Is there any point to defend yourself? Would people believe what you had to say? – Most likely no.

What is the point of trying to defend myself. I can’t. No one will come up to me and ask for the truth because they’re scared. Apparently I’m a psycho

What is the worst you’ve heard about yourself? Some of the worst I’ve heard about myself is being accused of sleeping with someone’s boyfriend, encouraging breakups, being a disrespectful person.  I’m sure other things have been said about me that I may not know about.

I have never slept with someone’s boyfriend intentionally, however five years ago I made the mistake of being mixed up in the feelings of false lust but I was never the choice.  Believe me when I say, if you’re the option, you will never be the choice. There are a lot of liars in the big bad world. That was one lesson I learnt quite young and naïve, but also an experience I made myself forget about until now I guess. And it fucking sucks to admit it. I will never be in that situation again. I don’t encourage breakups unless my best friend is in a toxic relationship and I really hope I am not a disrespectful person.  I try to never be disrespectful. If I have a problem with someone, then usually they aren’t on my radar. Intelligence ignores.

“I know people are thinking I got to where I am through dirty money”

“I have heard I raped someone, I have heard I put someone in hospital, I have heard I put a gun to someone. None of it is true.”

“No one knows the reason I got like this, I felt vulnerable, fitness was my rehabilitation, they just see the now. Fractured skull and 3 brain bleeds, I was in intensive care, couldn’t walk. No one knows I train a kid with Autism, no one sees the good. I would do anything for people I care about.”

Unfortunately, it is human nature for people to want to tell their closest friend, ‘something they heard’ about another person.

‘Promise not to tell anyone?’…. ‘Sure.’

One degree of separation later, another closest friend.

‘Promise not to tell anyone?’…. ‘Sure.’

Vicious cycle of trust, don’t you think?

And then there are Chinese whispers about what people see around town, heard from one mouth to another and some swearing they saw everything. Or so a friend of a friend reckons.

When you’re the topic of the town it is hard to ignore people staring, turning away or yelling out smart arse comments. So what thoughts are going through their mind when that happens.

It hurts, it’s frustrating, I can’t bring it up. No one will say anything to my face and I can’t set the story straight.”

Of course it is going to be hard not to react.  How long can anyone ignore being spoken about before it’s provocation, especially if the rumour is a result of wrong accusation

Somebody else’s opinion of you, isn’t any of your business.

How do we figure out the truth from the rumours?  We stop judging.  We keep our eyes open, our ears alert and our mind sharp. Learn to read people and reactions. If you’re someone that forgives, be one that never forgets. We will never all be friends, but just try make it your own judgement and ideas rather than from false allegations.