Things I just don't get…

A penny for your thoughts

Homely woes

Over a year ago, I made the decision to travel alone on a 23-hour flight to a country I had never been to, to attend a university I had only just heard of, to experience things that I had once considered the smallest fragment of a dream. Deciding to go on exchange was easily one of the greatest decisions of my life. 

However, this isn’t a happy story. This isn’t a blog post about how exchange changed me for the good. Last night, I was talking with my friends about exchange and about how every person has a difference experience. I argued that exchange is truly what you make of it. I was fortunate enough to be accepted to a university that was known not only for it’s excellence but also for it’s insane partying, nightlife and student campuses. I set myself up to have fun – I found out what clubs night were best and I attempted at trying every single one. But not everybody took that opportunity, and it’s for those people that I am sad.

Now I’m back at home, and have been for almost a year this coming June. What’s the hardest about being an ex-exchangee is that people who haven’t been on exchange don’t know what it’s like to come home from exchange. You spend six months to a year of your life experiencing new things, new people and new places. It’s not like being at home, it’s not like being at your regular university. My boyfriend – if you can even call him that anymore – generally likes to bring up how much ‘funner’ I seemed whilst overseas. He saw photos I’d been tagged in, where I’d go out every single night and I’d enjoyed one-too-many alcoholic beverages to be considered healthy – but what he doesn’t fully realise is that being on exchange is the equivalent to living in a fantasy land. You are not invincible but you sure as hell may as well be. I was fortunate enough to have paid my rent prior, plus I’d paid for my flights, I only had a maximum of five hours per week (!!!) at uni and food and drink was so cheap – why wouldn’t I make the most of my situation? At home, I live in such a different situation. I worked three jobs when I come home from exchange, just to give myself something to do, and recently I’ve picked up an internship too. I don’t have the time, energy or money to go out in Australia. It’s expensive and everbody acts like a dickhead. 

And that’s why I’ve got the homely woes, you see. I made the absolute most of every opportunity thrown at me whilst I was abroad. I ate new food, drank too much cheap European vodka, I travelled to so many countries that now I feel like a completely different person. And now, I’m stuck back into the dark abyss of a mundane life. The plus side to life after exchange: I now live with a girl I met on my first day in Sheffield, England. We studied the same degree for two and half years at uni, and had never met before and then she became my best friend, now flatmate. 

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Go check it out

Hi everybody,

If you’ve got a free minute (or even if you haven’t) please check out the online magazine I’ve been writing for. It’s a travel magazine, dedicated to giving up to date information on resorts, hostels, travel information, destinations and lifestyle travelling. It’s great for readers of any budget, and might just help you in planning your next holiday.

The website is http://www.stunningplaces.net. Give it a click and read through some of the articles and let me know what you think :)

- Trudie

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The rent is always due…

In just over a week, I turn 21 and that’s a scary thought. I’ve just moved out of home for the second time, and let’s hope the second time’s a charm cause I prefer the freedom. It’s just that I struggle, i’ll admit that. There are loads of people out there who stay at home with their parents til they’re old and gross, just because it’ll save them money – and yeah, it totally does save you money, if you enjoy the feeling of being a complete freeloader. There are also loads of people out there who are naive about the prospects of moving out – that was me once, fresh faced and 18-years-old, I was too eager to move out of home and live with my girlfriends and to put it simply, it ended horribly. I got too ahead of myself, as most teenagers do, and I dove in, head first, with my hands tied behind my back simply for the lol’s. I hadn’t a single clue of what it felt like to actually pay a bill. 

Now, I like to think I’m a fence-sitter. I’m not naive about how hard it is to rent a property. I know that every week I have to pay my rent before I can buy my groceries, because hell, that’s more important. And I know that every month I have to leave $60 in my account to pay car insurance on a car I barely even drive anymore, because that’s life. My parents are the type of people who are supportive in every way they can be. If my dad has a spare $50 lying around and he knows I haven’t bought groceries for two weeks, he’ll give it to me. I know that if I don’t handle paying my rent, my parents might just help me out, given that they’ve paid this months mortgage first for themselves. I know all of this, yet I feel wrong taking their money. I hate abusing the system of generosity. 

I’ve got a few mates (don’t be offended, guys) who simply take, take, take. It’s not even just their parents who give them money, there’s the government too with all those lovely tax-payers dollars who fork out millions per year on people who are “under privileged”. Now, getting a dole payment is one thing, that’s all well and good, but abusing it is another. People who live with their parents til they’re 30 and people who abuse their centrelink payments fall into the same category; freeloaders. It pisses me off. I dislike how there are humans out there who can’t stand on their own two feet, and I dislike how some of them choose to be that way. What life lesson are you learning from doing absolutely nothing about your living situation? 

It pisses me off to think that I’ve got to work two jobs to make my rent just so that I can have a decent living when your average Joe Blow beside me does zero during the day, and hasn’t worked a day in his or her life, yet earns more in a week than I do and then spends it on goon or lottery tickets. 

Yes, I get it, being an adult is hard – I know that and I’ve barely even dipped my toe in the adult pool. But life’s not meant to be easy. There’s no point to getting something if you haven’t worked hard to earn it. There’s no refreshing feeling at the end, a feeling of complete satisfaction in your head telling you, “god-damn, that sucked but I’m here now and it’s great”. You don’t get that being a freeloader. 

Victim Blaming

We live in a society, a world, where the 7 o’clock news reports on a story about a vicious rape on a 14-year-old girl, and instead of saying “why the fuck would six men rape an innocent girl in a suburban park?” we question her. We sit there, staring at our bleak televisions, in our mediocre excuses for living rooms, wondering “but why was a 14-year-old girl walking home alone at 11pm?” We may ask, where were her parents? Why did she walk so late? Why did she walk through the park? What was she wearing? And do you know how fucking wrong that is, to question HER, the victim, rather than the disgusting excuses for humans who did that to her. We don’t wonder if maybe there was something wrong with those men? We’re they touched as children? Maybe they’re mentally sick. Why would they be walking around at 11pm? What would drive them to hold down a girl, use and abuse her? Did they not think of their own mothers, sisters or daughters when doing so?

Why is it that we automatically are accustomed to blaming the victim? I’m sick of it. When I’m out in a club and Joe Bloggs rubs his semi on my leg, is it my fault for choosing to wear a shorter dress than normal? Is it because I chose to put on red lipstick instead of going makeup free? Why do we choose to almost excuse the inexcusable just so that we can question the motives of the victim?

When it comes to things I just don’t get, this is up there, this is probably number one. I don’t get it now, I probably never will understand how a young man or lady can ever be blamed for something bad happening to them. It doesn’t matter where they were during the event, it doesn’t fucking matter what they were wearing at the time – it is never, ever their fault.

Rental applications and empty bank statements

Well, it’s been a while since I posted on here and since then I’ve gotten over a hundred views, so I’d like to start this sporadic post off by saying thank you to everyone who has bothered to read what I’ve written. Most of you come from the Facebook links I’ve uploaded, so I know you’re all my friends and family – thank you for your support nonetheless.

In the time I’ve been away from my beloved diary-blog, I’ve landed myself an internship (finally), applied for what feels like hundreds of houses to rent, finally signed a lease on one and am now in the slow, painful process of moving in to it, and have since quit two jobs to get another one. I live life on the edge (not really). I just like giving myself a lot to do because I hate being bored. I’ve worked three jobs at once plus gone to Uni before, so I like to think I can manage myself well.

The hardest part of the past few weeks; the part which I just DO NOT understand is rental applications. I did about three or four, five if you include the EXTRA(???) one I had to do if I wanted my parents to guarantor me. That’s what I just don’t get. Why all the extra paper? Why do you need a copy of my birth certificate, AND my passport, AND my drivers license AND my medicare card. I’m standing right in front of you, telling you my name, giving you my bank details, shouldn’t you only need one form of identification? I’m a 20 year old struggling university student with an overeager compulsion to work one-too-many jobs in hospitality, I am not a criminal mastermind and I’m not the type of person to rid you of one week’s rent. 

Not only is the identification an issue, but then, for one real estate company, I had to entirely fill out a separate application for my parents to be my guarantor. It wasn’t my idea, but apparently it looks better on a rental application for people of my age. Let me tell you now, if you take one tiny little glimpse at my parents bank statement, you’d run for the hills screaming otherwise. My bank statement is probably better than theirs and I’ve only got about $130 in it. That’s what a mortgage does, people, it takes away all of your “savings”. Plus, I like to think that because they pay my phone bill monthly, they shouldn’t have to pay for anything else unless they want to. My mum and dad have gone a bit mental buying me things for my new apartment which I insisted I would buy myself over time, but god bless them, they’ve has gone out and bought it all for me at once so now I’m more than prepared to throw that “house-warming” party my friends keep asking about. Fact of the matter is; it doesn’t matter if you’re 20, or 50, your “savings” will quickly become your “spendings”. It doesn’t matter whether your money goes to rent, alcohol, clothes, drugs, a mortgage or supporting children – none of us have money, and that’s what makes the world go around.

 

 

There’s nothing good about 21

I don’t want to turn 21. That much is as clear as day, plain and simple. It’s a birthday I dread, it’s a number I fear and it’s the end of an era that I am not entirely ready to let go of. Childhood. Technically, we become adults at 18. Since turning 18, some short almost three years ago, I’ve lived out of home, made attempts and failed at supporting myself, studied and lived alone overseas, but please, do not tell me that real life adulthood starts at 21, I’m no where near ready. 

Let’s start this off by saying: can I look after myself? Absolutely not. If I were put on a deserted island, would I go hungry? No. I can cook, basic survival skills have taught me not to drink dirty water, always look for higher ground and that rubbing two sticks together wont necessarily make fire. However, put me alone in a rental property or give me a loan that puts a $15,000 debt on my head, and we’re in deep shit. Saving money is my problem. I’m a spender, not a saver. I’ll save just enough money to make sure that insurance gets paid on time, fuel goes in my car or so that I can afford gifts for birthdays, christmas and that sort – but when it comes to bills and owing people money, I’m in the no-go zone. 

Why is it that as a successful high school graduate and University student, I am still entirely unable to manage my own funds? I can barely give the correct change after a transaction, let alone work out how much money I can and can’t spend at the beginning of a new month. So please, I will do whatever it takes so that I don’t turn 21. Surely I’m not the only “twenteen” year-old out there dreading the thought of yet another year passed. I can’t be the only odd-sort with worry lines over the fact that MAYBE, just MAYBE my parents will finally decide after several years that my phone bill should probably be in my name, instead of theirs. 

Both hands have fingers crossed that the answer is no. Not only does 21 mark the year for MORE financial responsibility (I only JUST got over having to do my HSC, for Christ sake), it also means the prospect of getting a “proper” job. No more traipsing around in casual/part time hospitality employment, living off generous tips. It means going out with resumes longer than three pages (INCLUDING REFERENCES!!!) and actually getting a job that will potentially last you until you at least decide to get married, have children, move house or just generally decide to move on to something bigger and better. And let me tell you, I don’t want any of those things yet.

So mum, if you’re reading this, which I know you probably are because you’re my biggest fan, these are the reasons I don’t want a party this year. Because this year doesn’t mark a year for celebration, it marks the year for the death of my innocence and nativity of youthfulness. I am scared, I am confused and most of all, I am procrastinating. 

Quick, somebody give me the directions to Neverland before I go mad.

 

It’s not official til it’s on Facebook…

Ah, the internet. Isn’t it wonderful? We have websites dedicated to bitching about one another, our lives, our bosses. We’ve got websites for playing games, watching porn, taking pretty photos of your breakfast, sharing your inner-most thoughts (DESPITE T.M.I). Nothing is sacred on the internet. We can write about just about everything with all forms of empty negligence.

Recently, my boyfriend and I took things a little too far when we joked about being engaged on Facebook. Despite never mentioning anything to our friends, parents or relatives – as soon as it was on Facebook, it was true. I had my aunts, uncles and cousins commenting, messaging and calling me congratulations which after being hilarious, became frustrating. My boyfriend got the worst of it though, when his non-Facebook using parents were approached at Sunday morning church by a family friend wishing them congratulations on their son’s engagement – one which didn’t even exist. The rumor mill quickly grew, and it exhausted me. I had to start telling people face to face that no, I wasn’t actually engaged, despite posting on Facebook shortly after the original posting that it was indeed just a joke. A joke! We were drunk, it was funny, and we even posted a photo of a ring which clearly wasn’t an engagement ring (it’s a silver coated infinity ring).

This brings me back to the point that nothing is sacred on the internet. Once you post something, it’s there forever and people can and will react to it. There are so many internet platforms for cyber bullying, websites that just shouldn’t even exist in my opinion. What’s the point of ask.fm, other than to send nasty anonymous messages? You get the occasional nice one, or a funny question like would you rather: lick Harry Styles’ toes or pick Dave Franco’s nose? But other than that, it’s just a flood of mean comments ranging in severity. Tumblr is no better with it’s anonymous messaging. I have a blog, and all I do is re-post pretty or funny pictures, yet I’ve gotten a bit of “hate” from doing so. It hardly seems fair, but hey, we’re from the internet generation, so you may as well learn to deal with it. What’s interesting is that the government are always attempting to censor the internet for children and teens. But what are they censoring? Porn? When I was 14, I wasn’t going on http://www.milfsandmums.com, I was on Facebook and Bebo. And it wasn’t old seedy men on the internet that we’re a real danger to me, it was my peers – posting mean comments and messages. I grew up in the generation who cared more about the “love” you received on Bebo than how well you did in school, because it meant you were more popular – even if it was only online. The amount of times I felt worthless because of a mean comment online is uncountable. People will believe anything they see or read online, and so when ‘Sally’ says that ‘Sarah’ is a slut, people are going to believe it. Why? Because Sally has more love on Bebo and she’s more popular and maybe Sarah is a slut, and basically it’s just a giant fucked up cycle of being mean to each other because you don’t have to say things face to face.

If you’re offended by this, then I’m sorry – but maybe you’ve never been online to receive a mean message from somebody you don’t even know. Maybe you grew up in a generation of fist-fights after school rather than a war between keyboards and derogatory slang words that you can only look up on urbandictionary.com. This is the life we’re living people, start acknowledging it. Another point is those stories that came from Twitter about all the celebrities dying, even though they actually haven’t died. I’m sure there was one about Eminem, another about Justin Bieber. They’re not actually dead but do you know how many teenage girls self-harmed because they thought Justin Bieber was dead? Too fucking many. Teenagers are young and impressionable and the moment something is posted online, it’s important to them no matter how unrealistic.

So I say, stop believing everything you read on the internet. Except this. Because I’m writing it about not believing things on the internet yet it’s posted on the internet, which is irony in it’s purest of forms. But seriously, not everything online is true. Even photos of your favourite celebrity. That’s what photoshop is for. It’s somebodies job out there to morph that photo to make it look like Selena Gomez is pregnant.

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Disclaimer: I don’t know if milfsandmums.com is a real website but if it is, please don’t go on it.

The times are changing, man

I was born in 1993, making me 20-almost-21 this year. My mother was born in 1970, making her 44 this year. Now, if my calculations are correct, that would mean that my mother fell pregnant at only 22, giving birth to me, her first child at 23. My parents married in 1991, which meant they were engaged and married all before my mother turned 21, the age I am now.

Now, I’m looking at all these facts and figures I’ve been crunching and there’s only one thought on my mind, and that’s why? Why get married so young? Why have children so young?

It’s simple. The times are changing, man.

My grandmothers on both respective sides of my family were married by 19. What was I doing when I was 19? I was in my second year of University, working two jobs, going out drinking, eating, shopping and overindulging at every given opportunity.

I can’t even begin to image what life would have been like if my grandmothers were given all of the opportunities that I have thrust upon me on a daily basis. Like a job? Firstly, I’m the first of my entire family (ENTIRE FAMILY!!!) to go to University. Secondly, I genuinely can’t even tell you what my great-grandmother did for work. I knew her until I was in my late childhood (around 10 or 11) yet, all I know is that her parents owned a farm. Did she work? Probably not. Was she given the choice of further education? That much, I know for certain; no. My grandmother worked – but only in factories from what I can remember – never a job through a higher education. My mother is the woman I deem most successful. She went on through high school to complete her HSC, then went on to TAFE and work full-time as an office administrator and all-rounder. The difference between the four generations at play here are the time frames. My mother and I are women of the new age, raised in a time where schooling was deemed more important than family business, farming or becoming somebodies wife (and slave).

I look back to the generations of my grandmother and her mother, and think to myself: at 21, am I ready to be a wife? Am I ready to be a mother? My body says yes, but only because that’s the way it has been designed. It’s been saying yes since I was 11 years old, but imagine what a riot that would be. I couldn’t even feature on 16-and-pregnant, because I’d only be 11 and probably still playing with doll houses.

However, it’s strange to think about how nowadays, if you were to “fall” pregnant in this generation at ages 16-18 (like they did back when my great-grandmother was on the bandwagon), you’d be labelled every single hurtful derogatory word you can think of. Even as a female, my initial reaction at a younger female pregnant is shock. Why? I’m not sure. Is it because I’m worried about her? Maybe. Or maybe I’ve just grown up to be conditioned in a more materialistic and selfish way. Instead of dedicating my twenties to finding a husband, becoming a mother and cleaning the house, I’ve been taught that you go to school and you get a good job, maybe you can travel the world and eat exciting food too along the way. How bizarre it is to think that while federation in Australia was happening, so were regular teenage pregnancies and marriages and that was all normal.

All I can say here is that I’m glad the social norms have changed. Call me selfish and the exact product of 21st century narcissism, but it is what it is. My fore-mother’s didn’t fight a war against social misogyny so that I could be married at 17, god dammit.

- To my grandmother, and great-grandmother(s): Thank you, I love you, always. Rest in peace x

How to: live life awesomely without the help of (insert your ex’s name here)

I want to start off by saying that this is my final post for today! I’ve been all over this whole blog because I’ve got a lot on my mind that I want to share with the world.

Lately, my brother,  a 19-year-old somewhat recently single guy has been struggling to come to terms with life without his other (no-longer) half. He gets worn out, anxious and angsty fairly often because of the weight of living differently. Now first of all, I want to point out that I know what it feels like both to be the dumper and the dumpee. I’m not an awful person, I’m not heartless and I do genuinely care about the welfare of my brother. Here’s some ways that I think my brother (and so many people in similar situations) can ‘live life’ without the aid of an ex-partner.

RULE 1
Stop living in the past. You fucked up, they fucked up. Somehow, somewhere down the road, mistakes happened and it came to an end. There’s no point in dwelling on things you cannot change. You can’t go back in time, you can’t live every day wondering ‘what if’. Every single moment you spend thinking about the past, you lose the present and it too, becomes the past. Think about your future.

RULE 2
Don’t bother with the blame game. There’s no point to he said, she said. It won’t win you friends, because let’s face it, her best friend will take her side no matter how shit her half of the situation was. Also, remember that there’s two sides to every story and not everybody wants to hear it all. You can’t change peoples minds and you shouldn’t put your friends in positions where they should have to choose. You may be hurting but don’t be a dick about your feelings.

RULE 3
Be happy for yourself. As shit as the situation may be, make the most of it. Go travelling, try something new, pick up a hobby. Learn to be happy on your own. Remember that X was only a contribution to your happiness,  they weren’t the determining factor.

RULE 4
Go out. Get dressed up. Try a new hair style or start doing winged eyeliner instead. Be bold and be brave. Why should you be hiding yourself away when you’re single?

RULE 5
Love your friends and family. They stick by you. They probably bought you ice cream and cried a bit with you. Be grateful for the wonderful people you’re surrounded by. After all, once you get rid of the weeds (said ex), you start to see the flowers.

What’s the hype? Lorde, Robin Thicke, beanies in summer and overpriced coffee

This is my third post today, but there’s just so much I don’t understand that I feel like I need to get it all out there in the open. I’m a confused person, I can’t help my curiosity.

Let’s start off with the hype around some “pop culture”. Lorde. What’s the go? I just don’t get it. Her first single was cool, it was original, it was fresh and it was dope as hell. I sung along, like many others, every time it came on the radio. It was a catchy song, Royals. But then I hopped on spotify and listened to the rest of her album. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad album, I just don’t get the hype. Her follow up single sounded almost the same as the first, and then the next one after it sounded the same too. It’s a repetitive cycle, Lorde. I get it, you grew up in a shitty, no-good area and you’re kind of hipster and that’s “in” at the moment, but please, you don’t need to remind us. Also, being mean on twitter isn’t nice. Don’t you read those things in DOLLY magazine about online bullying? If you’re going to call me a hypocrite, look up her tweets. They’re a bit meaner than anything I’ve written here, and to put it frankly, I’m a nobody, and well, she’s Lorde.

 

Secondly, what the fuck, Robin Thicke? What’s the hype around that song, Blurred Lines? On New Years Day, Channel V had a count down to the biggest songs of 2013, and I bet my family it would be this song despite how much I dislike it. Now, now, I know it sounds like I’m just being bitchy and that I dislike everything. That’s not entirely true, I promise you. Listen to the lyrics of this song, listen to the message it sends. You might be out, drunk and happy when it starts playing and hell, you might want to dance along but please just remind yourself when you’re sober and curing a hangover, that it’s not a good song. It has rubbish sexist lyrics, the beat isn’t that great and there’s nothing THAT wonderful about girls dancing around topless in a film clip – half of the population has a pair of tits (males included here).

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Look at this hottie, Robin Thicke before Blurred Lines.

Now, beanies in summer. I’m pretty sure we’ve got classic Harry Styles to thank for that one. BEFORE YOU START TO HATE ON ME, I want to clarify, I’m a massive fan of his – I just don’t get why you’d wear a beanie at the beach. My boyfriend did it the other day and it annoyed me so much because it was 40-fucking-degrees outside, and you know what, he wasn’t the only d-head at the beach wearing one. Put the beanie back in the cupboard for winter, it’s not cold outside, nobody gives a shit if you’ve got beach hair, you’re at the beach, not a fashion parade.

And this rant concludes with: overpriced coffee. I’m a VIP member for both Starbucks and Gloria Jeans. I love coffee so much. I love it from franchise shops, I love it from tiny little cafes where it’s a bit burnt. But what the hell kind of VIP treatment am I getting if I pay $8 a coffee? That’s such a rip-off. I’m a uni student, not Caggie Dunlop. Believe me, if I could afford my own wonderful machine (not those crap pod-things; an actual machine, milk frother and all) then I would go out and buy one, but I can’t and that’s why I’m annoyed about $8 coffee. It’s wrong. It’s a disgrace. Coffee beans ARE NOT that expensive, and I would know because I work in a restaurant that serves coffee, and milk is only $3 a bottle at Coles, so please, Starbucks, tell me what I’m paying for, because I’m dumbfounded.

I’m not a fan of popular culture.

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