Always remember sunscreen

The other day, my lovely co-worker sent me a link to Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Everybody’s free to wear sunscreen’. It was honestly the sweetest thing in the world given that I was having a pretty rough day at work. Oh and he sweetened it up even more by buying me a hot chocolate as well (thank you Alex!!!).

The reason why I was having a rough day was because I was filled with self-doubt about my career choice and my ability to do my job well. I guess I wasn’t getting much job satisfaction lately because I wasn’t involved in as many projects as I’d like to be and the projects that I was on were all placed on hold.

Anyways, Alex took me out for hot chocolate, listened to me moan about my first world problems and when I came back from lunch, the link was waiting for me in my inbox. It really put a smile on my dial because it put things in perspective for me and it was pretty inspirational. I sent the link to my sister and my friend and her response was “oh I remember this from high school or something… funny how it’s actually relevant now and makes sense”. Pretty accurate.

To be fair, if I read the essay or watched the video in high school it probably wouldn’t have resonated with me as much as it does now. It makes a lot of sense… especially being kind to your knees because I know for a fact that I’d miss them when they’re gone!

So what is this ‘wear sunscreen’ anyways? It’s an essay originally titled “Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young” (how relevant!) and columnist Mary Schmich writes it like a commencement speech. It was published in 1997 in the Chicago Tribune.

There are many elements of the essay that’s relatable to all of us. Sometimes I feel like we’re all strung up in the rat race of adult life and we start feeling weak and lose our purpose but the thing is, we shouldn’t lose purpose. Failure is part of life; success comes from learning from these failures. If you keep making the same mistakes, it’s time to sit down, breathe and work out what it is that’s driving you to make those mistakes over and over again.

And then there’s worrying. I’m a stickler for worrying about EVERYTHING… right down to the minuscule detail. But it’s true what the essay says… “worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum”. I accept it’s true and I’m getting better at worrying less so I can declutter le brain.

So what I’m saying is, when life gets hard and you feel like you’ve had enough, do as Alex says… just remember sunscreen.

IMG_2293 Yes, I went to work the next day and he left me a bubba bottle of sunscreen with a wee reminder. I have that reminder taped to my computer monitor and it has actually helped when the going gets tough at work 🙂 Thanks Alex.

Also, if you’ve succeeded in remembering compliments and forgetting insults, please share how you do this. For real.

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Five things that made me happy this week #5

Wow guise, it’s the second to last episode of five things and I’m really feeling the sadness. I also feel like I should open this with an apology. I’m really sorry about not posting for a while! It’s honestly been a pretty crazy week and I hate making excuses for tardiness but it’s really not an excuse. Busy life just suddenly reared its ugly head!

I’ve got some exciting news… but I’ll share it in a later post once everything has rolled into place. Apologies aside, I’ve got some tops to share and hopefully you find them interesting!

Hot chocolate and sunscreen

 I work with this lovely gent named Alex and after a pretty stressful week, he took me out for hot chocolate (which he paid for!!! Naughty), listened to me moan and then sent me an inspirational link to ‘Wear sunscreen’. I don’t know if you guys have heard about the video but I’ve dedicated an entire post to this so I won’t get into much detail. I’ll be posting sometime this week but I thought this deserved to make it on my list because it really made me happy!

Alex, if you’re reading this – thank you. You’re amazing.

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Disclaimer: not actual photo of hot chocolate that was had on that day but I stumbled across this typical “I went to Starbucks so I’ve got to take a picture” picture and thought I’d use in absence of the actual photo of our hot chocolates in takeaway cups.

More projects

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I really enjoy being busy at work. Despite the stress it can cause, it just feels way more fulfilling and I feel more engaged and like as if I’m learning things. Plus new projects usually mean more challenges and I love myself some good challenges!

I work for a government department here in sunny/windy Wellington so I don’t want to bore you with the details of the different projects I’ve recently been assigned to but they are pretty meaty babies and I’m just really excited about sinking my teeth into them!

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Watch ‘em grow baby!

I’m a shit saver. I know a lot of people say that but I’m not saying it just for the sake of saying it. I’m legit a horrible saver. Try and try as I may, I always end up back to $0 (I guess if we’re trying to view this positively, at least it’s still in the positives and not the negatives but still!).

So I’ve started saving properly and it’s been a great feeling watching my savings grow. I mean I wish it was more than the current three digits but it’s a really good start for me. I should be proud of me… as long as me keeps it up of course. Pray for me guise.

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Southern lights

This one is truly a highlight for me. I’ve been barking on about going to Iceland and catching the northern lights and never did I think that we actually had southern lights… and turns out I actually live an island away from it.

Anyways, on Sunday night when I was meant to finish an essay that was due at 11.59pm, I got a phone call from my friend and her flatmate saying that the lights have been sighted and we should go to the Red Rocks and try our luck at catching it. Of course, Michelle and her priorities says “HELL YES”. So off we went on our little venture… now let me just point out, the lights are not visible to the naked eye – you need to see it through camera lens.

Because they had put an article on stuff.co.nz (NZ news website) on the aurora sightings in Auckland and in Wellington, everyone had the same idea of trying their luck to view this potentially once in a lifetime experience. Red rocks was jam-packed and it was freeeeeeeeeeeezing cold but guess what? We caught it.

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I’m so amazed at the fact that we managed to see this from Dawn’s camera lenses given that what we saw through the naked eye was a pitch-black sky filled with stars. The contrast was astounding. I still can’t believe this was seen at a beach that’s a 10-minute drive away from my home. Definitely ticked this off my bucket list.

Reasonable grades 

You know how I mentioned I had an assignment due at 11.59pm on the night I went out to see the southern lights? Yes well a bit of a backstory – I had actually forgotten I had the essay due that day. After a picnic and a walk, I went home at 5.00pm to commence assignment mode but then I fell asleep for 20 minutes while going through my course work. Then I got up, wrote a couple of sentences, decided it was a good idea to bake cookies, went back to work and wrote a couple more sentences, decided I was hungry so made cottage pie, then went back to work but My Kitchen Rules Australia was on and then the phone call. At that point, I was sitting at approximately 128 words. My essay is meant to be 500 words. No biggie though right?

So after I came home from viewing the southern lights, I had about one and a half hours to do some more research and writing. The story ends with a 629-word essay that was submitted 2 minutes late. Ah well. I wouldn’t trade the southern lights for more time on my essay. No way, José.

I got my results today for this essay and one I did last week. I got a C+ for this essay. How?! I don’t even know. I was over the word limit and the essay was shite. When I realized I had ran out of time and had to submit, I didn’t even bother doing a once-over. I just sent it and that was that. But a C+?! I was really expecting that much deserved F for eFfort or even a D for diddle so it was a very welcome surprise getting a C+. But they do say that C’s get degrees.

I got a B+ for my last essay, which I was pretty surprised by to be honest. I haven’t written an academic essay for years so pretty solid effort. Although, I went through the marking schedule and by golly, it was As galore right up to the in-text citation where I got an E because I cited references incorrectly so that dropped my grade to a B+. I totally don’t want to let it get to me but… it does get me. But you know what? I’ll live. I just need to work on my in-text citation. Boom. The power of positivity.

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Anyways, I feel like this week’s top five things that made me happy post isn’t the most exciting but it honestly has been a pretty crazy week. I’ve just been so busy with work, study and life stuffs. You should be proud of me for taking the time to remember the things that made me happy!

I’m also planning on getting back on schedule so there will be more posts. I’m truly sorry for slacking off but I promise you I’ll be back. I haven’t forgotten about you.

It would make me so happy if you shared what made you happy this week! Even if it’s one thing!

Why I love climbing hills

I know what you’re thinking. Why the fuck would anyone love climbing hills? It’s hard work and it’s exercise and don’t pretend like you enjoy hard work and exercise.

Well, I’m not going to pretend I like either of those things because I don’t. What I love though is the end result of the hard work and exercise required to climb the hill. Let me break it down for you:

You’re at the bottom looking up. You see your destination and you’re thinking “Fuck. This.” Fair enough. You’re full of adrenaline and your brain is thinking of all the excuses in the world to not do the climb but there’s another part of you that’s telling you “yo, the view up top will be mean g”. You start walking and taking those first few steps are the hardest because you’re still debating and thinking “it’s not too late to turn back now. No one is going to think you’re a pussy for giving up. It’s okay to do it now” because you know once you’re halfway and you give up, that’s when people are allowed to judge you and label you a ‘giver upper’. If you give up and turn back, you know you’ll feel relief for not having to climb anymore but when you think about later tonight, in bed, you’re going to think you’re a sore loser and that you should’ve just kept going and seen the views and now you’ll have to start it all over again and go through all the drama.

So you decide to ignore all those negative thoughts and go ahead with the climb. You’re in pain, you’re sweating, you’re red-faced and you’re well, dying on the inside and out. You’re cursing, you keep stopping for breath and water and you’re trying not to cry. But you push through and you keep moving. Then suddenly, it’s all over. You’re there. You’re up top g. You’re on top of the world.

Suddenly, all the negatives disappear. You look down at the world and you think “I fucking did it”. I did the thing. You take many photos, you show off and you don’t even care about showing off because you know that people are going to be somewhat jealous of the sweet 360 views. You tell your friends, your family, your exes (okay maybe not) and they’re all proud of you.

And that, my friends, is why I love climbing hills. It’s a constant reminder of the hurdles you face in life and why in the end, it’s going to be okay and when you reflect, you’re going to smile at having experienced it despite the shittiness you had to go through in between. Plus check out these sick views:

IMG_2130IMG_1205IMG_1208IMG_1212 (1)Makara, Wellington

IMG_1975Rimutaka Trig Track, between Wairarapa and Wellington

IMG_1623IMG_1625IMG_1613Mount Kaukau, Wellington

IMG_0539IMG_1555Some hill in Wadestown ft. my parents, Wellington

IMG_0730IMG_0732IMG_0735IMG_0736Pencarrow Lighthouse, Eastbourne, Wellington

If you’re in Wellington and need some inspiration of hills to climb, I encourage you to check these places out. As you can see, the views are absolutely stunning!

Five things that made me happy this week #4

I know, I know… it’s a couple of days late but it’s been a busy week for me, particularly because it was a long weekend and I’ve had to catch up on work, study, assignments and driving back to New Plymouth to spend time with my parents. Despite the busyness and occasional stress, it’s been a great week filled with plenty of sparkly, glittery, sprinkle-y happiness (even though one would think it’d be a shit week given we’ve had a cyclone warning… LOL). Well… shall we begin?

Sunny days in the ‘Naki

Okay, so this year every time I go home to New Plymouth the weathers been absolutely SHITHOUSE (no exaggeration). Usually every summer, I have the opportunity to go for a swim at the beach but this year, I’ve not had the chance to because, well, the weather.

This weekend however the weathers been amaze-balls. I can’t even describe. Despite weather warnings of Cyclone Cook, it’s been pretty sunny and pretty warm with the occasional ‘sun showers’. I don’t even mind that I go to sleep to the sound of the rain drumming against the rooftop because every time I wake up, the blue skies and sun greet me with a smile.

I’ve caught up with a few of my good friends, chased the waves, met the friendliest little Samoyed called Bear, rolled down the Bowl of Brooklands (ended up with my skirt over my head but hey, such is life), ate fish and chips on the beach (FINALLY!), went to the zoo, encountered a Meerkat that’s prettier than me, walked along Oakura Beach (fuckin’ love that beach) and ate lots of good food (thanks mama bear!). Honestly, it feels like summer and I wish it never ends.

Second birthday week?

I’m not greedy. I put a question mark at the end of it because even though my birthday was last week, I found myself still receiving presents and birthday greetings. No, I’m not complaining! Hence why it’s made it to my list.

My sister bought me some penguin socks, a book, a calligraphy pen kit and some watercolour markers. Honestly, they’re so cool! And then my landlord (no I didn’t misspell, I do mean ‘landlord’. Yes I’m referring to the man who owns the house I live in and I pay him rent in order to continue living under the roof) brought some gifts for me too – a card, a bottle of chardonnay and a box of chocolates. I’ve never heard of landlords giving tenants gift so it was the loveliest surprise! Thanks Tim!

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Bear

On Friday, I met a beautiful Samoyed called Bear. I’m dedicating an entire section to her because ma lawd she made me the happiest person in the world!

I’m a lover of both cats and dogs and the only reason why I don’t currently own a dog is because I’m not settled and I don’t think it’s fair to own a dog while you’re not settled. I want to travel and eventually own a house so until I’ve done those two things, I’m not going to own a dog, or dogs for that matter. At the moment, I’m frothing over owning a Samoyed and a pug. Unlikeliest duo but I think it’d be the cutest damn thing ever!

So more about Bear… she’s so beautiful and fluffy and super, duper friendly. She was wet but didn’t even smell like wet dog, which was weird. She plays fetch and kept digging a hole to show off. Honestly, she’s just made my entire week. I’m just so in love and after she walked away with her hottie Slovakian dog-walker, a part of me just died. No joke. I miss her so much. If only I knew where she lives because… you know… I’d just visit… and not attempt to kidnap her…

This photo depicts the moment I spotted Bear…

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… and the moment I got hold of Bear… SO FRIGGIN’ HAPPY.

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Get your sh*t together

Yes, I’m referring to the anti-self-help book by Sarah Knight. It was a birthday prezzie from my sister and in her words “I’m not saying you don’t have your shit together but I thought I’d buy it cause I know you’d enjoy it”. I totally agree with her on the whole enjoy part but I dunno bout the having my shit together part.

I’m not finished with the book yet but so far I’m finding it thoroughly enjoyable. She provides you with practical tips and writes with great insight and is quite, well, relatable (to me anyways). Right now, I’m so on that $5/day saving train and I know it’s sad that it’s taken an ‘anti-self-help’ book to teach me how to save but it’s just that sometimes you need to read an insightful little book that just kicks your arse and inspires you to want to be a better you and then you go out there and be a better you. Does that make sense? I dunno. It’s probably some nonsensical rambling (I’m good at those!) I suggest you just buy the book, read it, understand what I’m on about and YOLO.

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Please ignore the crease on the top right hand corner of the book and the state of my nails 😛

Finishing my first official assignment

Guise, seriously, I feel like I’ve just won a war – a war with words that is! I completely forgot how annoying writing essays can be. I mean, this photo pretty much sums up my feelings at 1.45am this morning.

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… and I’ve JUST completed it. After sleepless, stressful nights, I can finally breathe and sleep easy. I think what I find the most challenging with assignments is switching up my writing tone – work and blogging means I get to be friendly, enthusiastic and conversational. Academic writing means none of that – I have to be serious, no contractions, long sentences and yawn, reference everything. Oh wait, the word count is bitch too.

Anyways, I know this one’s a boring one but I feel so chuffed. When I pressed that ‘Submit’ button, I just felt the weight of the world lift and disappear. Time for ten cups of tea to soothe my aching brain…

Do share your happiest moments this week!

 

 

 

It’s going to be okay

Hey kid,

It’s going to be okay. You’re worried about never finding a boyfriend. Guess what: you do. You’re worried about disappointing your parents by deciding to leave uni cause you’re not happy. They’re not disappointed. You’re mad because you spend monies on dumb things. Bad news: you still do.

I know it seems like life feels completely and utterly hopeless right now because you’re stuck in a ‘set room’ with a shitty roommate, you don’t have many friends, your family’s far away, you’re lost and confused because you want to study everything and nothing and worst of all, you’re still a virgin at 18. But remember last summer? Fish and chips, lying on all the grass in New Plymouth, driving missions, hanging out at beaches and Rihanna’s ‘Please don’t stop the music’? It was the best summer ever – hold on to those memories because they’ll help get you through the rough.

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Right now, you’re probably thinking about Lachie down the hall and how your floor mates thought it’d be funny to lock you in his room that night. He was so nice to you! Should’ve just kissed him. But you didn’t and that’s okay (unfortunately, you two don’t end up together. Weirdly enough, you still think about him but very occasionally. I’m still trying to work out why you do).

Let me tell you about your future. You’re going to go through so many emotions in the coming months – both good and bad. You’re going to test your friendship with an old workmate and I’m sorry to say, you’re going to disappoint her. Not once, but twice. And worst of all, over a boy. Actually, two boys. It’s okay, you eventually learn your lesson.

Right now, you feel like you’re always going to be one of the boys and die a virgin with 60 million cats. But you’re not (well the 60 million cats is still up for debate). You’re going to get noticed. In fact, the big v-plate ends with one of your best friends. You’re also going to think you love him. This is when you realise that with intimacy, comes a lot of confusion.

You’re also going to trust too easily and it’s gonna take one boy to destroy your trust. Oh, plus your low self-esteem. I’m sorry to say you’re going to carry your distrust into other relationships and it’s going to take the most patient man to tolerate you. You’re going to have to work really hard to be better at trust.

You’re going to go on a rampage where you think it’s okay to hurt other boys because you’ve been hurt. You’re going to pretend like you don’t care and you’re going to give yourself freely because you like feeling like you’re in control. You know how you’re always afraid of rejection so you don’t do anything about it and you admire people that pour their heart out and think people that reject others are fuckwits? Guess what, you become somewhat of a fuckwit.

You’ll trample on boys’ feelings when they take the leap and tell you how they feel because it’s easier for you to not care. You’re going to be the master of ‘ghosting’. Then, the tables will turn and you’ll meet someone who gives you the world and treats you the way you deserve. But because you don’t trust anyone, even yourself, you’re going to hurt him and you’re going to fuck things up. You’re going to realise what you’ve done and you’re going to go through a lot of pain. I’m sorry but there’s no going back on that one.

But it’s not all that bad. You’re going to grow closer to your family (unfortunately, you’re going to continue relying on Father). You get a proper job and you’re good at it. You’re going to wake up and learn to love yourself. You’re going to enjoy your own company and you’re going to concentrate on being a better you. And yes, you’re working really, really hard to trust again. You’re still battling confidence but you’re working towards improving it. You really are so you should be proud. The only thing you should be disappointed about is the fact that you’re still shit when it comes to money and saving.

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Remember that when the going gets tough, you get tougher. You’ve experienced and learnt so much and you survived. You’re a survivor. Don’t be afraid of what’s to come because despite all the shit, you’ve done so much good and you’re continuing to do good for yourself, your family, your friends and your future. And when you feel alone, you need to remember you’re never alone.

I promise you kid it’s going to be okay. Everything keeps getting better. So don’t be afraid. Smile.

xoxo Future you

p.s. bitch, can’t believe you cried when you turned 18. you’re now on the wrong end of 20, wishing you could go back.

p.p.s. you’re still trying to replicate summer 2007 because every summer since just can’t seem to beat it. good luck!

photo credit: the lovely dawnchapmanphoto (yes I’m her back model). check out her stuffs yo!

Things that made me happy this week #3

Wow, we’re at episode three already! Where has time gone? It’s been a pretty jam-packed week for me but upon reflection, there’s been more highs than low so I can’t really complain. So with that being said, let’s begin!

Birthday week

Yes, I’m going to start with the obvious. I’m on the wrong end of my 20s now but that’s okay. I had a pretty good day on the 4th and continued to have a good birthday week. I celebrated last night with a BYO dinner and I’m worst for wear today but I’m happy. The beauty of birthdays is that it brings the people you love together. They get together to give you a card, a cake, a present, etc and they get together when you throw a party, BYO dinner or however you choose to celebrate!

I put together a post on my birthday and getting to know me. Check it out if you haven’t already!

Oh and look at these beautiful flowers I got! Happy to report, they’re still alive and kickin’!

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Finishing my first week of assignments

I’ve decided to pick up a few papers this semester to go towards my Communications degree. I won’t go into detail as I’m planning on putting together a post on it. At times, I feel like it was the worst decision ever and I don’t know how I’m going to handle full-time work and nearly full-time study, plus regularly blogging and keeping up my social/home life.

Anyways, I handed in my three assignments today and I’m stoked as hell. It’s a huge sense of achievement for me because despite being a pretty hectic week, I’ve managed to do them and keep on top of studying. So yes, it can be done! I just need to keep it up!

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Baby carrots

Don’t laugh but yes, baby carrots were a highlight for me this week! I don’t mean like the little pre-packed ones you get from the supermarket, but an actual bunch of baby carrots that I scored from the markets. I’ve seen them on cooking shows and cartoons so when I chanced across them over the weekend, I couldn’t resist. I proudly displayed the leaves over my recycle bag (not that anyone would care or know what leaves they were…) Not only that, they were only $2!! They’re so delicate to chop and I can’t wait to eat my bevy of roast veges when they’re finally ready. So go baby carrots!

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Wellington bringing out the calm

It’s been a pretty shit week weather wise. We’ve had torrential rains and I’ve been going to work soaked. Plus when I wash and style my hair, it’s ruined in literally five minutes of leaving the house so I gave up for the rest of the week. As in I didn’t wash my hair or style it – I just brushed it and let it be. Gross, I know.

But this weekend, it’s been absolutely stunning and the sun came out for us! Despite being kinda cold, it was still nice to see the sun out with a smile on its dial. It definitely put a smile on my dial! 

No I didn’t draw penises in the sand… I came across them and thought they were worthy to be photographed. Yes, I had a little chuckle too. And I didn’t catch that fish – my friend and I were sitting on the wharf with some men fishing and he caught the little nipper. I think they said it was a leather fish? Who knows.

D&D sesh

Yes, I play Dungeons and Dragons and yes, I really enjoy it! We had a 3 week break due to time constraints and illnesses but we regrouped this week and had a wonderful session. For those of you who don’t know what D&D is, it’s a fantasy roleplaying game where characters are created by the participants and these characters go on an imaginary adventure in the fantasy setting. There’s a dungeon master that acts as the storyteller and referee for the whole adventure.

I play with my best friend, sister and ex-flatmates and honestly, it’s been really enjoyable. I used to think it was a game for nerds but our group is the most unlikeliest group of people to play D&D and we’re doing well so far. If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend giving it a go! At least once!

What made you happy this week? I’d be very keen to hear it!

 

 

If you can’t grow ’em, pick ’em

 

I’ve always wanted to go strawberry picking. I see so many people instagram-ing or Facebook-ing their finds and I was getting really, really jealous. I didn’t know where the hell people were going to pick strawberries so I did my research and came across Penray Gardens in Otaki. Funnily enough, I drive past the gardens every time I drive out of Wellington but I thought it was just a little fruit and veg shop.

One weekend, a couple of friends and I decided to head out on a semi-grey and muggy day. Honestly, it was the best decision ever despite the typical Wellington weather. Before you head into the gardens, there’s a huge sign which shows you all the fruit and veg that are in season to pick and the cost per kilo. You help yourself to a bucket/punnet/wheelbarrow and off you go on a little fruit and veg picking adventure.

I like strawberries. I honest to god do but whenever I buy them from the supermarket, I don’t eat the small punnet in one sitting. Usually I find strawberries that are either not ripe or too mushy. What a waste of average $4.99 for approximately 10 strawberries (if you’re lucky).

So during my excursion, I picked roughly 30 strawberries that cost me approximately $5.50, 3 ginormous cucumbers for $1.00 and 2 huge red onions for $1.50.

I emptied the huge ass punnet in one day. They were scrumptious, delicious, ripe, fruitful, succulent and divine – once I started, I just couldn’t stop. I was kind enough to leave my sister two (or three). She agreed; they were incredible.

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Not only was it stimulating and relaxing; you also get a decent workout from walking up and down, all around. And jumping for joy of course because you’re surrounded by freshness.

So next time you’re stuck for things to do and are lacking in the fruit and veg department, I highly recommend heading out to Penray Gardens. It was a whole lot of fun and I guarantee you’ll leave with a huge smile on your dial. Don’t believe me? Look how happy we were!!!

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I can’t wait to head back and pick apples, pears and tomatoes!!