Category Archives: Life + lessons

The progress of events in my colourful life documented. Enjoy.

The life of a 20-something living in Sydney

You casually check your hair in the reflection of retail store windows, as you walk swiftly with a coffee in one hand, while contemplating whether you’ll get to work on time. Multi-tasking. It’s hard. If you’re part of Gen Y, then you’ll most likely want things done efficiently in a timely manner. Whether that be your order at McDonalds when you regret that you wish you had prepared your lunch the night before rather than planning to do it in the morning, which you never really did because your alarm clock was teasing you to press snooze, and you just couldn’t resist, or you just keep making excuses for things you’ve been putting off like that long awaited catch-up brunch with a friend that never really got planned. That sentence doesn’t even make proper sense. But you know what who cares. These days it feels as if no one cares. It’s as if we are just existing, rather than living. Nameless faces going with the flow of the rat race, especially now that it is leading up to Christmas. When was the last time you had a nice, chill, I-wanna-be-here-and-don’t-have-plans-straight-after chat with an old friend in a relaxed environment? These days we are all busy. We stuff our food with fast food during breaks at work. Or we chump on a high calorie, high sugar ‘snack’ like a triple chocolate fudge muffin, while simultaneously gulping down expresso that burns your tongue because you tell yourself, “I just don’t have time”. Am I angry at the world that things have just gotten so out of control? Am I angry at myself for wanting to chase my ‘blurred’ dreams because I’m a success-hungry 20-something? If you’ve ever felt this way, then don’t fear you’re not alone. We just need to do one thing, and that’s to relax. Problem solved. Ask yourself, what is important to you? if you were to die tomorrow, would you worry about the small things that fill your headspace on a daily basis? What would you do if the world was going to end tomorrow?

 

Yours truly,

from a 22-year-old who dreams of a quiet place of serenity with the sound of spring water peacefully trickling down, where she can clear her thoughts.

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I felt like I needed to breathe. You know just take in the air and feel carefree, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Just to clear your mind. Just to give you a moment of serenity. Peace of mind. Bliss. And I did just that today on my lunch break. And now I feel so blessed and grateful for everything I have. Ready to get on with my day. Ready to smile again.

There’s always hope. You just have to believe there is.

There are times when we find ourselves thinking constantly of all our worries and insecurities because it is our ‘default setting’ to believe that we are the centre of the everything. That everyone and every thing is against us and it is our mission to prove everybody wrong, all those that wronged us, doubted our abilities and did not believe in us. But in reality some people are in a far worse condition than us…poverty, debt, or hearing for the first time you have been diagnosed with cancer.

Sometimes you just need to get outside, soak in the sunshine and breath fresh air in and out for a while. Then remind yourself of who you are and who you want to be. In the words of Phillip Yancey, “I have learnt that faith means trusting in advance what will only make sense in reverse.”

hope

Donna takes on a fashion internship

Hello! I’ll say that again because it feels so good to be back in the blogging world! Hello! To all my followers, I genuinely apologise for being away so long from blogging. I had a lot going on. My 5 week uni break, which I was looking forward to and had all these amazing plans for, was turned into a 1.5 week break. Have you ever had to sit a supplementary exam? It sux! They postponed my exam by 3 weeks! Thank God it’s over now. In the end I faced my fears of sitting an exam I previously failed. When you do your best, the end result always pays off. I also joined a local taekwondo club to brush up on my basic technique, improve my fitness and meet some new awesome people! The taekwondo club that I normally go to at uni takes forever to get to since I live so far away. However, I miss the friends I made there a lot! 

I’ve left the most juiciest news for last – today was my first day as a fashion intern. Hold your horses, I didn’t completely drop out of my combined Science/Nursing degree, I decided now since I’m a part time student this Sem, I might as well use my free time productively. My first day was a bit of a roller coaster. I think it’s always hard treading on unfamiliar territory. I met this lovely girl fresh out of high school named, E, who was also interning. It was her 6th week there. She was sweet, we bonded over a lot of things – part-time jobs, fashion, what we want in life. Typically girl stuff.

 

When I think about it, I did quite a bit today – I steamed, prepared clothes and accessories, hung stuff, organised the show room so that look books matched the little sections for each particular designer. All in all, it wasn’t too bad of a day. But I did do a lot of thinking on the 1 hour train ride home. I remember thinking to myself, is this really for me? I kept repeating it too! My gut tells me I need a bit more time. I need to get used to the ins and outs of that fashion agency, the people there, my role as an intern, and just learn as much as I can. I need to get used to the feeling, and soon enough I won’t be considered ‘new’ anymore. I’ve also reset my expectations. I no longer have any. That way you don’t ask for too much, and get more than you bargained for in return. If I could take away one lesson that I learnt today, it’s that to be successful, you have to be prepared to start at the bottom. And that’s exactly what I’m doing, therefore I believe I’m on the right path.

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I like to  be surrounded by those who love me,

Those who I can be myself around,

And those who just ‘get’ me.

 

Tonight I ate at my favourite restaurant in Sydney called Chat Thai. I chose the roast duck marinated in tamarind sauce with some good ‘ol rice. And also a strawberry blend, just to be fancy. I’ve spent some pretty special occasions there – my 20th birthday, a catch-up with old friends from First Year, who showed me how much I really have changed since then, a get-together with a cousin and her family that I hadn’t seen in years, and tonight, I had a pre-Melbourne trip discussion with one of my best friends, M. She has a high-pitched voice and likes to tell everyone where she’s from (Azerbaijan),  but most importantly, she is genuine and warm-hearted. I feel like myself around her, and she makes me want to be a better person. Having that one friend that you can spill all your worries to in times of troubled water is important because they make you feel like, “It’s ok, I’m here”. If you don’t have someone like that in your life, then be that person for someone else because when you make someone happy, happiness comes back to you in so many other ways you didn’t know possible.

Learn to love yourself first

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Throw away those glass slippers because running bare foot is more fun. This poster encapsulates my day. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt in life is to always try to maintain balance. For me that involves a lot of things: part-time job/life/family (+ dog)/uni/get-togethers with friends/volunteering. Exercise is that one thing that always makes me feel like I’m on top of the world. It’s because even though things feel like they are crashing down on me, exercise reinforces that I’m making progress, at least in one aspect of my life. And of course, I love the endorphin release. Who doesn’t? I’m on the road to reaching my goal weight. It’s gonna take some time, but I know I’ll get there, and that’s the most important thing. Today I went back to the gym after a long time of not going. I wouldn’t say that long, but long enough for me to feel the burn quicker than usual. I pretty much thought I could stop everything in my life, and just study, study, study. That way, I’d get better marks in my exams. Lesson learnt: you need a balance, or you’ll just burn yourself out. And that’s what happened, it’s all I thought about, and when the time came for the exam, I just became so fearful of failing that my nerves took over. It was the first time in my life I had a panic attack. It was intense. I’m glad I’ve been given a second chance to show ’em what I’ve got, so in 2 weeks I shall be sitting a supplementary exam. I’ll be prepared though and I know I’ll pass.

Anyway, back to my gym sesh, for those who do classes at the gym, I did Body Pump and Body Attack. Body Pump is awesome for muscle toning and strength. Body Attack is a full-on cardio workout, thats seems like bursts of energy accompanied with adrenaline-stimulating music. The last time I  did Body Attack was probably 2 years ago. It wasn’t a pleasant experience. I was an unco noob lost in a room full of women who knew their ‘thang’. I recall the instructor didn’t bother slowing down, and I told myself after, this is not for me. I’m glad I tried it out again though because it changed my perception about it. I even went to the front line and said to myself, “why not?” I managed to keep up with those in the front line, even though my ‘moves like Jagger’ weren’t as smooth as theres. All in all, I feel proud of myself for giving it a try again. That goes to say, don’t let one bad experience, keep you from trying it again.

For all those feminists out there, how cool is this poster? In this day and age, people are obsessed about the concept of falling in love. I’ve gone to the extent of removing all emotional breakup slash ‘I’m-just-so-in-love’ songs from my iPhone. I don’t need it. Reality check – love does not ‘cure’ anything. The most important relationship you can have is the one you have with yourself. You can choose to take control of your own life. You don’t need someone to reinforce that you are worthy of love because quite frankly, you can love yourself and that can be enough. If your being is happy, then that resonates through your thoughts. And as we know, the way you think (i.e. your mindset) influences your behaviour.

Yours truly, from a 21-year-old girl who is learning to take control of her life again.

People

I think in life we all play a character – someone we aspire to be. We take steps on this journey called life, hoping that one day we will get to that destination and become that person we envision ourselves to be. Deep inside, there are so many more facets of our personality – some we hide and some we are scared of. I think that’s what Marilyn Monroe embodied. In some way or form we can all relate, and that’s why 50 years after her death, we are all fascinated about who she truly was.

Life won’t wait for you

It’s just one of those days when you want to put pen to paper and pour your sorrows away. I like to think of my blog as something that gives me inspiration and hope that there are better days ahead when I’m feeling down. Throughout my life I have kept journals. As I got older, I told myself I wanted to write only about happy moments because quite frankly I didn’t want to read journal entries years down the track and think, was I really that lonely and sad as a teenager? But you know what, life is full of ups and downs. That’s why I’m writing my first vulnerable post on my blog.

I think from time to time, we all like to reminisce about the good ol’ days. However, time has a way of tainting those memories by being subjective. Our mind wants to remember just the good stuff, so we don’t have to feel the pain that we once endured through challenging experiences and obstacles. Relationships – family, friends, co-workers. They all make their mark on you. I once had a friendship with a guy. We were the best of friends. We did everything together. I think for the longest time he had a secret crush on me, but I friend-zoned him and took him for granted. As that song by Counting Crows goes, “you don’t know what you’ve got til its gone” (Big Yellow Taxi). And that’s exactly what happened, I missed him as soon as he went away. The difficult thing is something inside of me doesn’t want to let go of those memories, but I know that things will never be the same because life has changed the both of us in so many ways. We are on different walks of life. I know you can say all those cliche tag lines like “if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be’ or “God will find a way”. I’m not sure how to feel or what to say, but I guess I just need to let it be. For those days are long gone. Most people refer to me as a ‘pocket full of sunshine’, their ‘go-to gal’, that person who just always seems to be happy when they walk into a room. But just like anyone else I have my fair share of insecurities, doubts, thoughts that I just can’t get out of my head, and desires that just feel so far away. I think what I’m trying to say is that, inside my heart, there’s some kind of longing like a piece of a puzzle that needs to be found. I’m wise enough to know now, that it’s up to me to fill that whole and no one else can fill the void for me. It’s up to me. Just like anything else worthwhile in life, it takes a process of focus, determination and hard work to get the results you want. So I’m here writing to tell myself, “Good luck and congratulations to taking your first step to finding happiness again”. Let this new chapter in your life begin.

Yours truly, from a 21-year-old girl who has realised that, you are the one who decides whether you stay unhappy, or find ways to find happiness.

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Someday, someone will walk into your life and make you realise why it never worked out with anyone else.

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Last night I flipped through the pages of my journal and I managed to find this message (above) that I had written to myself a while back. Then and there I decided to write a letter in my journal to someone that I miss. Someone who I share a lot of memories and inside jokes with. Someone who I’ve grown up with. Someone who just ‘gets me’. When I think of this person, I just imagine myself leaning on their shoulder while they have their arm wrapped around me, while we are both enjoying the tranquility and serenity of silence. It’s that feeling you have when you understand what the other person is feeling, and there’s just no need for words. I wouldn’t trade that feeling for anything else in the world. I call it bliss.