I Am

Laying It Bare…

I wrote this post on Facebook over the weekend:

The Invitation - Exceprt

“Sometimes I get a little obsessive with songs, or poems, and I listen to them or read them, over and over, until I’ve got everything I can out of them, or they’ve at least sunk in.

Over the past couple of days, I’ve been reading ‘The Invitation’ by Oriah, Mountain Dreamer, Indian Elder, and I love it, all of it, and I’ve got this verse playing on loop in my head, and in particular this line: “I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself.”

Can you?

Because I’ve realised I can.

Because being genuine – not betraying who I truly am, or my soul – might not make me the best person in the world, by some standards or rules, but it makes me the only one I’m happy to live with. Being fake – especially to myself – is just not an option. I’ve always been ok with that, but I’ve doubted it a little recently.

Earlier this year, I wrote a thing, and one of the lines in it was this: “People will tell you to ‘be yourself’ but in order to do so, you’ve got to get really comfortable with who you genuinely are.”

Are you?

Because I’ve realised I am.

Even if that means disappointing another to be true to myself.

I really, really am.”

I do that kind of thing, sometimes – post a thought, or an opinion, occasionally a rant.

There’s no real rhyme or reason to what I post, other than feeling a certain way in a certain moment. It’s a free pour, out of my brain, to my little community of people, partly in the hope that some of the words might mean something to them – that they might help them, or inspire them, or at least make them think.

Sometimes other stuff happens instead.

Sometimes people don’t like what I write, or say.

Maybe it hits a nerve for them, or maybe it confronts (or more likely affronts) them.

I’m not sure.

This morning my phone rang and it was someone telling me they’d read my post, and that I was wrong. They told me all the reasons I was wrong. And then the reasons why I was selfish.

I chuckled, a bit. Mostly because I know I’m one of the least selfish people in the world, but paradoxically, and this was kind of the point of my post, I can also be terribly selfish, and I’m ok with that. I’m more than ok with that.

I know you’re not supposed to say that.

I know you’re supposed to say that you spend your entire life in service of others; of people, the greater good, of tasks and checklists. That you put everyone, and everything, first, and lag behind, hoping to catch a break or take a breath. And even if you know who or how you really are, I know you’re meant to deny it, and pretend. Pretend like you are that person you’re ‘supposed’ to be.

But I can’t do that.

I’ve never been wired to do that.

And if there’s anything I know, it’s that you’ve got to love yourself first.

For me, that means being true to who I am. Even if that means disappointing someone else. Even if that makes me selfish.

I am no good to anyone, or anything, any other way.

Jane Caro - It's Important To Be Brave

Today someone shared this Jane Caro article on Facebook, and I read it and nodded. It is much more important to be brave, than nice. And people are very afraid of offending others. And saying what they think. And none of that fazes me at all.

I definitely don’t ever intend to offend anyone, but if someone is a little disgruntled after reading something I’ve written, there’s not a single part of me that is concerned about that.

It’s not that I don’t care. It’s that I can’t, and won’t, suppress my thoughts because they don’t align with someone elses.

Part of what I do, as a writer, means putting a fair bit of myself out there. And while there is a great deal that I haven’t yet written about (my childhood, my challenges, my pretty traumatic labour experience, to name a few), there is a lot that I have. And I know that if I want to be the best writer I can be – and, more importantly, be true to who I am – then I can’t filter my thoughts.

If I factored in every opinion, and expectation, I’d likely never write a thing.

And let’s be honest; writing is one of the most selfish, indulgent things you can do. Especially when it’s about yourself, or your life.

That people even read what I write still blows me away. With all the words in all the world, the fact that a small percentage of people read mine with what precious time they have is kind of incredible.

But I don’t really write for them. I write for me. And, I suspect, that’s part of the reason people keep coming back; because I’m not trying to be perfect – something I most definitely am not. I’m only trying, every day, to be the best me I can be. And I think sharing parts of who I am can maybe help other people be brave, or at least be themselves, unashamedly.

Something I’m conscious of is that not every story is my story – even the ones that do have a lot of me in them. And while I’ll always be true to myself, I’m aware that not everyone I cross paths with has signed up to have their life chronicled, or their thoughts aired, and I respect that, with every ounce of consideration I have.

But it’s ok for me to be raw, out there. To say, or write, the things I don’t think enough people do. I can handle the negative feedback and comments (and even the phone calls).

But I don’t think I can stomach the judgement.

I think people that say things that are truthful – even if those things aren’t necessarily pretty – shouldn’t be torn down, but maybe instead given a high-five, or at least a thumbs up.

Not because of any other reason than it is brave.

It requires, no matter how often you’ve done it before, an unflinching exploration of boldness.

And not enough people are bold. Or brave.

And the more we tear down people when they try to be, the less likely they are to lay anything bare.

And we need to lay bare; to unlatch and throw wide open the window on who we are, so we can make it easier for other people to be who they are.

I’m never going to stop doing that; even when it’s not pretty. Even when it’s brash.

Being who you genuinely are, and being ok with that, is brave and it is bold.

And that’s all I need, and want, to be.

I Am, I Do, I Know

Why I’ll Hop On The Bus. Every Damn Time.

Living life without fear, or comfort

I was chatting to my friend Steve the other night and we got talking about the idea of being ‘comfortable’.

I told him, without a moment’s hesitation, that I don’t do comfortable.

He nodded and said, ‘Comfortable makes me nervous.’

Me too, matey, me too.

I’ve been trying to pinpoint over the past couple of days exactly what it is that frightens me about the familiar; the routine, the security, the safety.

I haven’t quite got there, so I’m doing that thing I do when I try to figure something out; I free pour out of my brain onto a blank page and then post it online for the internet to read.

I get why comfortable is enticing; it’s relaxing, and comfy, and easy. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to, or needing to, be comfortable.

But I find myself sitting back, listening to people bang on about being comfortable, with my head slightly tilted to the right, thinking, ‘Yeah, not for me.’

I talk to a lot of people. And I see too many of them stifled by fear. And insecurity. And I think it sometimes stems from a desire to clutch onto what’s comfortable; the things they know, the people they know, the world they orbit.

It’s all very nice. It all makes perfect sense.

I just don’t think it’s enough for me.

I just don’t think I can even pretend it’s within me to be like that.

The other day, I went to a festival with my friends. We were waiting for our bus to depart the city that morning, and there was this guy, holding us up, because he was waiting for his friends to turn up and board the bus. For whatever reason, they were a no show.

I was looking at him out the window willing him to get on the damn bus. Partly because the sun was shining and I just wanted to be in the Yarra Valley already, but also because here was this fully grown adult, with the potential to have an amazing day right in front of him – literally a few steps in front of him – and he was going to miss out on that because his friends weren’t there.

‘Get on the bus, mate.’

He turned around and walked off.

One of my friends asked, ‘Would you get on the bus?’

Me and Teagan, my sister from another mister, replied, without a moment’s hesitation.


There is no doubt about it. With the upmost love and respect for my friends, if they left me standing in front of a bus, on my own, I would hop on it. I would hop on it, every single time, without question.

Maybe I’d have a dead boring day. Or maybe I’d find some people and talk. Maybe I’d learn something new. Maybe I’d make a new friend. Maybe I’d dance with them. Maybe the direction of my life would change in some remarkable way. Or maybe I’d just sit back and listen to some music in the sun and think, ‘Isn’t this lovely.’

I know that our natural inclination is to run to what’s warm and comfortable, but you’ve got to feel the cold sometimes. Every now and again, you’ve got to do things that completely terrify you. Well, you don’t have to, of course. But I know I do.

I purposely make myself do things I’m terrified of. Mostly because I know if I don’t, I risk becoming everything I know I don’t want to be. And because the other option – that comfortable one – is far more terrifying to me than anything else I could ever be afraid of.

Not allowing myself to fall into a trap of being comfortable has resulted in some pretty marvellous things. Like every now and again, I make myself walk into a room without the comfort of knowing a single person. Doing that is no big deal. But you’d be surprised at how many people won’t. I’ve made some great new friends this year. And they stem from that one, single action. From that one, single choice.

I’m still not exactly sure why comfort irks me. I’ll keep thinking and get back to you.

For now, what I think is that maybe life is just a series of choices we make. Maybe it’s as simple as choosing between getting on the bus, or staying well off it.

Whatever choice you make is fine, and it’s yours.

I just don’t think I’ll let the bus drive off without me. Even when I don’t really feel like hopping on. Even when the ride is sure to be bumpy. Even when the passengers don’t seem all that friendly. I’m going to keep getting on the bus. I want to see where the ride takes me.

I Know


At the very end of last year, on the final day of December, I was lying on a futon, in a charming apartment four storeys up in Bronte, NSW, the waft of hot chips from the fish shop below seeping through the open windows, the waves from the beach crashing in the background, and I was reading this quote:

Neil Gaiman - Make Mistakes

I love Neil Gaiman. I love his attitude. I love his wise words. And I love this quote.

So I posted it. I posted it online because it seemed fitting. It seemed like a gentle reminder to not strive for perfection, but rather to strive for evolution.

I stumbled upon it again tonight. Lying in my bed, with the sounds of spring outside my door.

It’s almost October. That’s quite a few months since the last time I read this quote. Heck, it’s almost a year. If I close my eyes, I’m right back there, on that futon, in Bronte, with the strange taste of hot oil and the sea in my mouth.

The days have hurtled into months and this quote found me again, tonight, of all nights, after a weekend spent drawing metaphorical lines in the sand.

I don’t reflect a lot but when I do, I reflect with gusto. Looking back over the year so far, I can confidently say this:

“Neil, I’ve nailed it.”

I’ve made some good mistakes this year. I’ve made a few bad ones. I’ve made things and broken things and mended things. I’ve kept moving, mostly forward, occasionally sideways, without ever freezing.

I’ve learned. Goodness, the things I’ve learned. And I’ve lived. I’ve lived boldly and passionately and without any reservations. I’ve changed. I am not the exact same person as I was on that last night in December, lying on that futon.

I think that’s a good thing.

I think mistakes are good things.

Despite the overwhelming bad wrap they get, mistakes, messy though they sometimes may be, make you grow. They force you to grow.

Some of my mistakes have been insignificant, some have been diabolical, but they’ve all helped me evolve into who I am, right now, right here, lying on my bed.

I feel fortunate to have been afforded the opportunity to even make the mistakes I have this year.

And that’s the thing about mistakes; people try to avoid them. They try to excuse them. But the very best thing you can do is embrace them. Own them.

Mistakes make you.

They don’t define you.

They make you.

Who you choose to be, who you get to be, after them, well, that’s yours for the taking.

I Am

Thursday Night In The Back Of An Uber And I’m Thinking…

Today at a networking lunch, with the absolute legends from A Positive Move, I was asked to share the most ‘positive move’ I’ve made, and I had the pleasure of hearing responses from other members at the table.

I love hearing people share their stories; little snippets and tidbits of their life that have shaped who they are and what they do. The choices they’ve made, the serendipitous moments of happenstance that have peppered, or changed the entire course, of their lives. It’s the reason I’ll always choose reading a biography or memoir over a work of fiction; people – with all their realness and rawness – are the very thing that inspire me most.

My little tidbit was less focused on a singular moment or event, but rather the attitude I live my life by, which will come as no big surprise to regular readers or those who know me: to not let fear define my life or dictate my choices and to make my own opportunities, as well as take all the ones that come my way.

I shared a few examples of how I’ve applied it to my career so far – like when I was twenty-three and in the throes of my freelance writing career and I was offered a role as Editor of a magazine in Sydney. I was petrified. I had no idea what I was doing. So I naturally said yes. That was the catalyst for what came next, and what came after that, and where I am now.

Right now, in life, there’s a lot of good things happening. Really good things. It’s chaotic and hectic and, as my dear friend Steph has coined it, ‘off chops’, but it’s also wonderful and bold and at least twice a week I’m consumed by the feeling of a million butterflies clogging my stomach. I’m ridiculously content and awfully inspired and overly eager. And with that comes its own level of complexities.

If you ever want to know how good a true friend is, start killing it in life. Then kill it even more. Then soar higher than you ever have. Then get back to me.

I’m only just realising how difficult it is to navigate through the overlapping links of a friendship when you’re on Level 5 and the other person hasn’t even pressed the button to hop in the lift.

I’m only just discovering how crushing it is to watch someone completely veer away from any semblance of a good life and accept the very worst of a false one. It’s like watching a literal train wreck.

It’s harder when you care. It’s harder when your tolerance for bullshit is exceptionally low. It’s harder when you call them out. When you question their pathetic reasoning and falsities. Maybe it’s not the right thing to do. But I cannot do it any other way.

How do you ease the disconnect? How do you get the tracks to overlap and crisscross again?

A few days ago, I realised something, perhaps rather selfishly: it’s not up to me to sort out someone else’s life. And I definitely shouldn’t have to apologise for mine.

Last week, over a long lunch with a friend, I uttered something along the lines of ‘yeah, but we’ve designed our lives…’

And have I.

I recognise the ability to even do that in the first place comes from a position of privilege; privilege of being born in the best country in the world, privilege of being educated, and having opportunities, but here’s the thing: privilege only gets you so far. It doesn’t get you out of bed at 5am. It doesn’t make your choices, or your sacrifices. It doesn’t drive you, or motivate you. Privilege, if anything, cocoons you, it entitles you, it keeps you safe.

Should you ever have to apologise for being brave enough to trudge through your own muddy path?

I think not.

And maybe it’s the dry prosecco swirling about, or the gin, or the fact I’m typing this in the back of an Uber, but I’m not going to apologise for who I am, or what I’ve done, or the fact that everything is maddeningly, wonderfully, fabulously magic.

I don’t know how the tracks are going to crisscross over each other again. I don’t know how to make someone see that their misery is theirs to own, in the same way my happiness is mine. All I know is that it’s not really my problem – not for want of trying, not for lack of effort – and there’s something delightfully liberating about that.

I Know

Tiny Interesting Choices

“That’s what I love about life, you never know how the day's going to end." - Sandi Sieger

I was just chatting to my friend and I uttered my famous line, the one I rip out about every fourth day:

‘That’s what I love about life, you never know how the day’s going to end.’

Even though I’ve said that line about 84,932 times, I really mean it.

When I wrote this blog the other week, one of the things I listed liking was tiny interesting choices.

Tiny interesting choices.

They’re my favourite.

A lot of people think it’s the milestones that matter in life – and they do – but so do the tiny interesting choices.

Graduating is exciting, but you know what else is? Being on a city street on a Tuesday night and making the choice between turning left or right.

I’m not being sarcastic.

The big things in life – weddings and babies and houses and holidays and birthdays ending in 0 – they’re all very special. They’re magical and memorable and I love the way they pepper life with joy and love and adventure.

But you don’t do them every day.

Living from milestone to milestone is not for me. It’s not enough. It’s not living.

Living is making tiny interesting choices.

Left or right. Up or down. Yes or no. Jump or freeze. Charge or stall.

All the little things; the choice between smiling at a stranger, or not. Meeting a friend at the corner café for a chai latte at 9pm on a rainy night, or watching TV. Walking through an unmarked door, or walking past it. Replying to an email, or sending it to the trash.

They’re the things that make the difference. They make all the difference.

They might not make it to the photo album – or they may.

The best thing about tiny interesting choices is you don’t know where they’ll wind up. Maybe the stranger walks right past you or maybe they become someone. Maybe you just chat with your friend or maybe you have the longest, hardest laugh you’ve had all year. Maybe the door leads to a dead end or maybe you discover something wonderfully new.

You don’t know.

I don’t know.

And that’s where the magic is.

In the tiny interesting choices; the underrated, unknown, seemingly unremarkable.

In the conversations and the promises and the aspirations. In the mistakes and the frustrations and the chaos. In the glances and the giggles and the noise.

Ahead of you are goals and plans and milestones.

And right now you’ve only got tiny interesting choices.

Don’t write them off.

There are so many adventures you will miss in the pursuit of a milestone.


Don’t be comfortable.

Don’t be hesitant.

Make tiny interesting choices.

You never know how the day’s going to end.

It’s what I love about life.

I Am

Over (It) And Out

I’m done.

I’m throwing my hands up in the air and calling it a week.

It’s been a day, I’ll tell ya. And this all but tipped me over the edge:

Screen Shot - Sandi Sieger

I opened this email and without a word of a lie it took all my strength to not throw my laptop across the café, over the heads of some unsuspecting people eating lunch, and launch it straight into the feature brick wall.

You may think I’m overreacting. And, yes, perhaps today my ranty pants are pulled up a little higher than usual. And, yes, I’m about to unload a tirade of first-world problems, but I DON’T GIVE A PHUCK.

I’m over it.

I don’t care how nice someone’s manners are – I’m over people I don’t know emailing me out of nowhere asking for shit, like it’s expected I’ll trip over my own feet racing to the keyboard to make their job substantially easier.

You know what else I’m over?

Everyone talking about this cold snap that’s hitting us this weekend as though IT’S THE END OF THE FUCKING EARTH.

Guys, WE CAN HANDLE TEN DEGREES. Sure, it’ll be fresh, but it’s nothing an extra layer or two can’t solve.

While I’m at it, can we all stop talking about winter, in general? I don’t know about where you grew up, but where I did, every year, for about three or so months, give or take, it gets cold. There’s nothing particularly earth-shattering about it. A usual year goes something like this:






















Feel free to copy and paste that shit somewhere so you can refer to it in future. Print it out and stick it on your fridge, or pin board, if you’re so inclined. Give or take some slight variations, that’s about the extent of it.

Now that’s sorted, how about this?

I went into three shoe stores today, looking for a new pair of leather ankle boots.

Tell me this: when I say, “Hi, can I please try these in a size 10?” what does that mean to you?

Does it mean come out with multiple pairs of size 9 shoes?


Does it mean bring out a pair of knee-high boots in an 8?


Does it mean try and up-sell me some god-awful zebra print hogwash?


Ok, moving on.

Have you ever tried to have a (semi-important) conversation with someone who is juggling about forty-seven things on the other end of the line?

I absolutely love trying to lock shit down when the person I’m speaking to is ordering lunch, grocery shopping, spinning plates and training a monkey whilst on speaker phone.

Yo, people with phones, this might seem completely absurd, but IF YOU’RE IN THE MIDDLE OF SOMETHING, it’s perfectly ok, entirely reasonable, hell even somewhat expected to NOT ANSWER YOUR PHONE.

Just let it ring. Let it ring right out to the very end of R.Kelly’s Ignition and go to voicemail. Call them back when you CAN TALK.

It’s not that I don’t love being told ‘hold on’, ‘just a minute’, ‘one sec’, ‘hold two’, ‘hang on’ every third syllable it’s more that I FUCKING HATE IT.

You know what else?

Last night I went to see a play with one of my good friends. To the left of me sat this mountain of a man who TOOK HIS LEFT BOOT OFF FOUR TIMES during the play. We were in the front row. Insanely talented people were acting their hearts out. And this guy kept leaning forward, leaning back, leaning forward, leaning back, left shoe on, left shoe off, left shoe on, left shoe off. To the right of my friend was a woman, and it’s fair to say she had a lot going on, the least of which was coughing up a phlegm ball in middle of the production. Just casually chugging back some meds, clearing her throat and half of dinner. All of this after we had to edge our way into the theatre through a cluster of people STANDING IN THE DOORWAY.

Yeah, that’s right, STANDING IN THE DOORWAY.

No worries, guys. That’s cool. Just grab your tickets and BLOCK THE WHOLE FUCKING ENTRANCE. It’s not like there’s a heap of people behind you trying to make their way in. Maybe while you’re holding everyone up you can talk loudly about shit no one cares about, just for kicks.

Speaking of kicks, I bought (another) sweet pair last night. There is absolutely nothing infuriating about them. And when I look at them I think of people that say ‘money can’t buy happiness’ and I laugh. For the most part, money doesn’t buy a single iota of happiness, but there’s the small part where it does. Like when I’m caressing, I mean using, my 27 inch iMac, I know what real love is.

It’s about 27 inches wide and it’s amazing.

But I digress.

My left eye started twitching earlier. I’m not sure if it’s from the emails or the people talking incessantly about the weather or the sales assistants or the phone-calls or the people at the theatre, but I tell ya what, here’s a diagram I think you’ll find handy. Feel free to save it or print it out. You can stick it next to my yearly weather chart on your fridge or pin board. It’s a really solid and entirely accurate pyramid of what to expect in life. A gentle reminder.

Spend as much of your time as possible in and with people in the top triangle. You will have to, on occasion, whether you like it or not, veer out of it from time to time, and when you do, please call me (but not on speaker phone while you are juggling forty-seven things) so we can find a mutual place to twitch together and possibly throw some shit.

Over (it) and out.

Smart People, Stupid Fucks

I Am, I Do

I Like…

I Like...

I like being around people who make me hungry for life.

I like doing things without knowing how they’ll turn out.

I like tiny interesting choices, because I know they make all the difference.

I like dinner for breakfast.

I like talking to strangers.

I like celebrating every little victory, because I know that’s what makes a win.

I like dancing.

I like it when my blood races.

I like it when people randomly remember completely insignificant things about my life, because I can then put them in the ‘keeper’ file.

I like long dinners, with wine.

I like words, and how putting different ones next to each other creates a rhythm, without there being any need for music.

I like listening to people, and their stories, because it’s the best way I learn.

I like how once you’ve experienced something new, you can never go back.

I like honesty.

I like the seconds, between moments, where the unsaid lingers, because anything could happen.

I like optimism.

I like people who have the courage to be themselves, without any apologies or excuses.

I like being afraid, not all the time, but quite a bit of the time, because then I know I’m doing it right.

I like it when you want catch a wave, and there’s that brief moment where you can either get sucked under or ride it, and all you can taste is salt, and all you can hear is your heart pounding, ba ba bum, over and over in your ears, and then all of a sudden you soar, and it feels like you’re free, and everything slows down, and you look up to see the bright yellow sun, and it’s kind of blinding.

I really like that.

I Am, I Know

I Just Don’t Know How To Be Any Different

In The Thick Of It Blog Comment

Cheryl left this comment on my last blog, asking how I go about self-care when it comes to wearing my, let’s call it, ‘cape of no fear’.

I’m not really sure how to answer or where to even start.

I realise that’s incredibly unhelpful, so I’m going to try and break it down.

I’m a really positive person. And when I say really, I mean r – e – a – l – l – y. Like, there’s almost something wrong with me really.

I believe it’s one of my greatest assets, but also one of my biggest downfalls.

It’s where a lot of my strength comes from, but it also makes me blind as hell.

And it’s a double-edged sword.

When shit hits the fan, when things go wrong, when nothing feels right, when people screw me over, my ability to see the positive is ridiculous. My knack of finding a shining light in everything and – to a certain extent – everyone, is outrageous. But it’s all I know. Why I am like that – why I think like that – is beyond me. I just don’t know how to be any different.

The problem with that is sometimes I’m a little out of reality. I don’t think ahead too much, and I don’t plan enough, and I get kicked in the guts more often than I’d like because…because…because in my head, it’s different.

I’m not stupid.

I’m not out of touch.

I’m not in la la land.

I’m quite reasonable.

I’m pretty intuitive.

It’s just that I always always come out the other end of every hiccup, every challenge… happy.

I told you. There’s almost something wrong with me.

I still go through the motions.

I feel it.

I feel everything.

Some days I just want to pack it all in. Other days you can’t tear me away from my computer. Some days I want to move to a tropical island and live off coconuts. Other days I have five coffees and six meetings and I swear sparks fly out of my shoes when I’m sashaying down the street. Some days I wake up and wish I could go back to sleep for 72 hours. Other days I’m up at 5am buzzing. Some days it takes the best part of twenty hours for me to tick two things off my to-do list. Other days my to-do list literally cannot keep up with me. Some days things hurt. Other days things don’t.

Sometimes I can feel myself starting to harden. When I’ve been burnt or disappointed. And then I remember that while it’s hard feeling so much, it’s better than feeling nothing at all. And while on the inside everything feels like it’s crumbling, it’s really not. And when all I want to do is curl up on the couch and get lost in something, it’s better to get dressed and show up.

For me, anyway.

I realised, actually, I decided, years ago, that I didn’t want to be the kind of person that let the bad things in life determine the kind of person they would be.

People often confuse my positivity with an assumption that the biggest challenge I’ve ever faced is a broken fingernail. It’s so ignorant of them. I don’t subscribe to the idea that if you’ve had a tough life – challenges, hurdles, obstacles – you need to be bitter about it.

What I know is that what’s happened has happened, and, for me, that means one of two things: let all the bad, all the hard, all the really messed up stuff hold me back or let it set me free. Let it bring me down or let it make me soar. Let it make me despondent or let it make me grow.

I always choose the second option.

I don’t know why.

I just don’t know how to be any different.

So, Cheryl, for you, or anyone else out there that feels the highest of highs, but also the lowest of lows, know this:

It has to be that way. As long as you have some of both, and some days that fall smack bang in the middle, you’re doing it right.

I need to feel low-spirited at times, because it makes the times when I’m towering over everything feel so much better. I need to feel angry and enraged and saddened at times, because it makes me feel. It makes me a better person. A better writer. And it makes the times I’m elated so much more valuable.

Some days you’ll want to Netflix your life away. You should. Some days you’ll want to be alone. So be alone. Some days you’ll just want to stare out a window for a while. So do exactly that.

We’ve got to stop permeating the idea that every day needs to be perfect and well-balanced.

It’s rubbish.

The truth is some days are good and some days are bad. Some days are easy and some days are hard. Some days make you and some days destroy you.

They’re just days. It’s just life.

And all I know is the difference between the people that are happy and the people that aren’t is the way they choose to be.

I Am

You’re One Of Two People In This World, I’m Sure Of It

I’ve never understood people that live for the weekend.

Who doesn’t love a Wednesday?

Who can’t make the most of a Thursday?

Who lives for two days out of seven?

I’ve never understood people that are afraid to say what they’re thinking.

Who can keep it in?

Who can stew on letters and words?

Who can resist and refrain?

I’ve never understood people that worry about things that haven’t happened.

Who can be troubled by a hypothetical?

Who can limit their lives by fearing something that may not even occur?

Who can?

There’s so much I don’t understand.

I’m scared and you’re scared and we’re all scared.

They’re over there whining and worrying and the only difference between them and us is that we pull on our boots and step out onto the frost covered streets and give a damn.

Give a damn about life.

Give a damn that it’s Wednesday. Because Wednesdays are for living.

We make the choice between sitting back and marching on, and we choose to march on.

To discover new places; bars on corners and barns in fields, and meet new people – the kind that challenge and captivate – and we make it up as we go along, without any idea of how it’ll turn out. And it’s good. It’s brilliant and stirring and I think it’s what it means to be alive and they don’t know.

They don’t know what they’re missing out on.

That feeling; when nervous energy and apprehension and excitement combine in the pit of your stomach.

You’re one of two people in this world, I’m sure of it.

You either run from that feeling or you live for it.

You push it away or you embrace it.

You hide from it or wear it like a cloak.

Sometimes it’s heavy,


sometimes it’s even too big,

but it’s a cloak I always want,

pinned on my shoulders,

engulfing and enveloping me.

I Am, I Do, I Know

31 Things I Know, Now That I’m 31

1. When I was 16, I felt like I knew everything. Now that I’m 31, I know that I definitely don’t.

2. Benjamin Franklin once said, ‘Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75.’ As I get older, I see more and more people dying. Their bodies just haven’t realised it yet.

3. There’s nothing wrong with routine, or habit, but every now and again shake it up; take a different route, start the other way around, order a different drink. Just because.

4. Where possible, do things because you want to, not have to.

5. People change. It’s unreasonable to expect someone to be the same person for an entire lifetime.

6. Don’t make excuses.

7. A well-stocked freezer never disappoints. There will be nights when you’re cold and weary. Nights when your legs feel like lead. Nights when even thinking is too tiresome. These are the nights you defrost.

8. Different people will stir different things inside of you. That’s why your circle should be wide and varied.

9. We are guests of this world, this planet, and we don’t own shit; let’s all act accordingly.

10. People do the best that they can with what they have and what they know. But people can always do better.

11. Anything is possible. I mean Cadbury just put Vegemite in chocolate, so really.

12. Use everything; your best earrings, your favourite shoes, the expensive hand cream, the fancy gifts. Use ‘em all until they fray and run out and break.

13. Figure out what you’re not prepared to compromise on, ever, and don’t.

14. There’s very little black and white and a whole heap of grey.

15. If you have to choose between settling and running, run.

16. When a day ends and you’ve been scared and challenged and nervous, understand that’s not a bad day. That’s the very best type of day.

17. Live like you mean it.

18. When it all seems too hard, too big, too messy, wait until the sun sets and the sky goes midnight blue and the stars start twinkling. Then look up.

19. Love yourself first.

20. Someone recently shared some advice with me they’d once received, advice they live by: ‘just say yes’. So just say yes. To the things you want to do, to the things you don’t know how to do, to the things that scare you.

21. Throw yourself out of your comfort zone. Often.

22. Eat your greens.

23. You’ve just gotta listen to music every day.

24. There is enough of everything for everybody.

25. People will tell you to ‘be yourself’ but in order to do so, you’ve got to get really comfortable with who you genuinely are.

26. Don’t do anything you don’t want to do.

27. One day you’re 20 and then you blink and you’re 30. Some days might be long but the years are short so if you can do something with them – something meaningful and good – then you should. Don’t let a decade pass only to wonder what could have been.

28. You will likely leave this world in a similar way to how you entered it; naked, screaming and gasping for air. I don’t know why people make the part in between those two events so difficult and pointless, but if you can help it, try not to be one of them.

29. Everyone is on this quest to find the blank white space where everything is neat and perfect and sorted and solid. And that’s great. But if you can get lost in the sticky for a while – that gooey, uncomfortable place that everyone’s running from – then you should. Get wildly lost.

30. Things are only ever as complicated as you make them.

31. To feel is to live. If you don’t feel it, you’re not living.

I Read

Swing, Man.

I stumbled upon this letter the other day:

Frank Sinatra's Letter to George Michael, 1990, Calendar Magazine

It’s written by Frank Sinatra, in the September of 1990, to George Michael, following an interview Michael did with the LA Times’ Calendar Magazine. Talking on “the tragedy of fame”, Michael declared that he would shun the limelight before and during the upcoming release of his album ‘Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1’ – meaning there’d be very few interviews, absolutely no promo videos and no tour.

Frank Sinatra's Letter to George Michael, 1990, Calendar Magazine

The week following Michael’s interview, Sinatra’s letter was published in Calendar Magazine.

And I bloody love it.

Particularly this paragraph:

Talent must not be wasted … those who have talent must hug it, embrace it, nurture it and share it lest it be taken away from you as fast as it was loaned to you.

But really the whole darn thing. Every word of it.

There’s so many truths in it. So many absolute gems. I’ve read it over and over and, to me, it’s not just a polite dust up of George Michael’s attitude. It’s a kick in the face to those coasting along. Those being ungracious. Those who aren’t hungry anymore.

I think most people could take a little something from it. Like:

Feed your talent.

Take life a little less seriously.

Don’t forget where you came from.

Be grateful for where you are. And what you have.


You are stuck in a whirlwind of lament. But you have nothing to really complain about.

So have fun.

Go easy.

See where the ride takes you.

Swing, man.

I Am, I Know

Yesterday, I Was Called A Bully And A Bitch For Having An Opinion

On Thursday night, I shared a Facebook status from MND Australia, celebrating the fact they’ve had $500,000 donated in the past two weeks from the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Sandi Sieger - Facebook Status

A Facebook “friend” made a point that the money they’ve raised is taking away from other charities and we delved into a discussion about it. Well, I think we tried to delve into a discussion about it, but when I began questioning the person – and sticking to my guns and not backing down from something I believe to be true – they didn’t like it. Not one bit.

The discussion very quickly moved away from the challenge and fast became all about me being a very insensitive and mean person for being so offensive. I did, after all, call people who are negative ‘miserable sods’.

Which they are. Well, at least from where I’m standing.

The thing most people that know me understand about me is this: I will never enter a debate, or be so incredibly headstrong during one, if a single fibre of my being is unsure about my exact opinion or the facts. And, during debate, I’m always open to other opinions and points and arguments – otherwise, you’re really just talking to yourself, aren’t you?

But here’s what people that know me also understand about me: I won’t tolerate bullshit. And name-calling. And finger pointing. And cowardice.

The discussion went down hill quickly because the questions I asked failed to get answered. Because they couldn’t be answered. Because hypocrisy was rife. And I called it out.

So I got called a bully.

And instead of bowing out (I gave an opportunity to ‘agree to disagree’), the person kept at it. And when I told them, if they continued, I’d give them something to be really offended about, they kept at it. So I told them to go and find something more productive to do with their day, instead of hassling me.

So I got called a bitch.

To be clear: being called a bully and bitch doesn’t bother me. I know I am neither.

What bothers me is that someone – this man – made our entire conversation redundant because he chose to be offensive (something he was admonishing me for, funnily enough) and, instead of answering the question, or raising a single point at all, threw his hands in the air and yelled ‘bully’ and ‘bitch’.

We all know it doesn’t work like that.

If you choose to enter a debate, be bloody prepared to battle it out, like an adult, leaving insults aside, and if you can’t handle it, don’t step up to the podium.

Or, as the old saying goes, don’t dish it out if you can’t take it.

I’m assuming I was called a bully and a bitch because I dared to question him. Because I didn’t back down from my opinion. Because I didn’t give in. And because I wouldn’t just darn well come out and say that yes, I was offensive and yes, you are right and I shouldn’t call people who are being negative ‘haters’ or ‘miserable sods’.

The real issue is I called him out. Period. I dared to hit him with a little bit of honesty, without sugar-coating my words, and he didn’t like it.

That’s not really my problem.

I don’t expect everyone to always agree with me. Far from it. I’ve had my opinion swayed far more times than I’d like to admit because I sat back and listened to someone else’s view.

I believe healthy and lively discussion is the only way people, and countries, really progress.

But there’s a big, big problem in Australia at the moment; the second anyone shares an opinion (whether it be your version of right or wrong, or completely outrageous) they’re shut down and ridiculed. If they’re well known, the media turns their opinion into a circus, if they’re not well known, they’re defriended on Facebook and blacklisted.

All for having an opinion.

Let’s get one thing clear: healthy, lively debate, where both sides are prepared to listen, but also belt it out, is vital. It’s vital to life, and relationships, and growth, and hope.

But when adults allow themselves to be disgracefully over-sensitive, when they allow ignorance to rule their mouths, and shut down their ears, we are left with a really big problem.


We become boring and dull and downright sluggish.

And whilst I’m not suggesting that everybody starts throwing opinions around every five minutes, I am saying we need to shake off this culture of shush and start learning how to listen and engage without being so offended.

I have absolutely no problem with the person that called me a bully and a bitch. I’d sit opposite them at dinner tonight and chat away happily. But I doubt they could say the same applies for them.

When did people become so petty? When did we, as a culture, become so offended, by everything, that it blinded us from what really matters?

I always believe that out of a negative comes a positive. And yesterday, when I was scratching my head and wondering how little this person must really think of me, the positive started to appear.

My phone started ringing. I started getting text messages. And private messages. It was from friends saying: ‘Well done.’ ‘Good on you.’ ‘Need me to put my fist in anyone’s face for you?’ And they kept coming from people I haven’t seen in far too long: ‘I love it when you speak and write.’ ‘Go for the jugular!’ ‘I’ve just read through the comments on your profile and this bloke is a bit out of line, I just wanted to offer my support to you.’ And then they started coming from people I don’t even really know at all: ‘I totally agree with you!’ ‘You’re bloody goooooooooooood.’

And, that, right there, made me realise that out of all the good things in my life, and out of all the good things I have done, this was the very best of them: surrounding myself, and building for myself, a network of positive people. Passionate, intelligent, rational, spirited people.

They are the very antithesis of stagnant.

And the reason I’m writing all of this is because I want you to know that you should never shy away from your opinion. By doing so, you shy away from yourself.

I want you to know that you should always stand up for yourself and sticky by, and to, the things you believe in.

Most of all, I really want you to stop pussy-footing around. Around people. Around issues. Around ideas. Around yourself.

Be proud of who you are.

I sure as hell am.

I See

That Sky…

That’s the thing about Far North Queensland.

The sky.

That big, beautiful, magical expanse of sky.

Far North Queensland Sky

I Know

Not All Mothers Are Created Equal

Not long after I had my baby boy last year, a friend added me to a Mum’s group on Facebook – the kind of closed group where people ask questions and share advice about parenting.

Tonight, I left the group. I can no longer deal with the completely ignorant, trivial, outrageously stupid comments. It’s infuriating. And I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the intention of the group.

I’m honestly surprised I remained a part of it for so long. Sure, there have been a few helpful posts from time to time, but not often enough to justify seeing absolute dribble pop up in my timeline more often than desired.

Perhaps something went wrong when I had my baby. I didn’t change as a person. I didn’t grind my life to a halt and spend every moment obsessing about my child. I didn’t become paranoid about germs and noise pollution.

I am still the same person.

In fact, I might even be a bit better. A tad wiser. And even less interested in being diplomatic.

Because, after having a child, here’s one thing I know more than anything else: having a child does not make you intelligent or productive or logical or accomplished or attractive. If you didn’t have it before you were a parent, you aren’t going to have it after becoming one.

And contrary to what the world will have you believe, we are not all born equal. I am not the same as you or him or her and certainly not them. We are the product of our environment, our genes, our choices, our experiences, our opinions, our attitude and so much more. Some people are better than others. That’s not even up for debate. It’s the bloody truth. And if you disagree, if you’re offended, you should probably stop reading now.

This is only going to get worse.

Tonight’s post, the one that raised my blood pressure and quickly prompted me to hit ‘leave group’, was from a mum expressing concern that the childcare centre she was considering enrolling her son in had a male carer and that was a major turn off to her. Because, you know, male carers in childcare centres must automatically be child molesters.

I was actually a little disgusted by her view. I read through the comments on the post and some people thought she was being overly paranoid and others agreed with her. And then I thought; I wonder what people would have said if she expressed concern about an Asian carer at the childcare centre? Or an Indian one? Or a homosexual carer?

And then I thought; what kind of men does this woman have in her life? Because all of the men in mine are wonderful and decent and exceptional, and dare I say it, sometimes much better people than their female counterparts.

And then I thought; how did we get to a point where it’s ok to validly and publicly assume that the actions of a few horrible men can define an entire gender and generation?

And then I thought; I bet she watches A Current Affair every night. That or Today Tonight. Because if you’re not the sharpest knife in the drawer or you’re more ignorant than informed, it’s the exact type of deluded paranoia that these pathetic programs rely on to keep their ratings afloat.

And now, typing away furiously, I think; why just men? Women can be violent and abusive. What about that?

So that was it for me.

That and the fact I’m not actually interested in half the shit these mothers talk about. Parenting isn’t actually that complicated. Your child is not a robot designed to mimic your life and embody your hopes and dreams. Your job as a parent is to equip your child for the world, to the best of your abilities – to encourage them, to help them grow – physically, emotionally, mentally – to guide them, to give them the tools to be the best person they can possibly be, and hopefully use that in a way that helps others.

No one talks about that in this group. The focus is on more important things, like, you know, how to get your child to sleep in later, so you can sleep in later, and how to buy a house in the right zone so you can get the best education for your child without having to pay for it, and where to stay in Bali, and ‘oh, where was that café again, the one where I can sip my decaf-skim-latte-and-let-my-kids-run-wild?’, and how to give solids to your child, and why weet-bix are evil, and ‘where can I buy a realistic looking doll that doesn’t look too doll-like but is still a doll?’

There’s a lot of that going on.

It’s all funny memes and quotes about motherhood that are supposed to make an ordinary woman who has never done anything significant with her life feel better about her decision to bear children and cries of ‘I’m boooooooored, what can I do today?’

Bored? Bored? I haven’t been bored a day in my life.

And now, thankfully, I won’t get infuriated half as often either.

The mums I know – the ones I’ve made friends with and met along the way – are all amazing women. So I console myself with the hope that the ones that grate me so much are far and few between. Because I don’t want my son growing up in a world where he thinks that being a male child care worker, or a male anything, is weird or uncomfortable or unmanly.

I don’t want him to believe that what he sees on television and in advertising is a true depiction of what it means to be a man. Newsflash; not every man loves his shed and only knows how to navigate a remote control and enjoys beer and is stupid/embarrassing to his family.

For all our efforts in telling girls they can be anything they want (and they can), and for all the trail-blazing in helping them get there, we have somehow left behind a few huge gaping holes for our boys.

The holes are everywhere. On our TV screens and in our iPhones and in our schools and coming out of the mouths of women.


To the woman concerned about her son being in a centre with a male childcare worker, I only want to know your answer to this:

If you think so poorly of men, how can you ever hope to raise a good man?

I Am


Tyler Knott Gregson - Wrinkles

Tomorrow, I turn 30.

It’s exciting.

People keep asking me how I feel about it.

I don’t quite know what to say.

Apart from the fact I am excited.

There’s more hype when the clock ticks over and you enter a new decade. It’s more of a big deal. Even though it’s very likely that you feel the exact same as you did the decade earlier.

And I do feel the same. Truth be told, I still feel 17.

Well, maybe 17 is a stretch. When I was 17 I was starting University. I don’t feel the same as I do then. I probably feel more like 22.

22. That was a good year.

Actually, all of my years have been good years.

I keep thinking that maybe 30 should be a bigger deal for me. That there should be some clearing out and reinventing and some serious life changes.

But I’ve kind of done all that, to a degree. I like to clear out and reinvent regularly, so as to avoid big life overhauls. I try to work towards being a better version of myself everyday. Not just on grand occasions.

It’s kind of nice to enter a new decade feeling relatively sorted. Without stress or anxiety. Quietly content.

I’ve made a life for myself – one filled with love, good people, a job made up of work that never feels like it, tear-inducing laughter more than is probably necessary and a sense of purpose – a life that I wake up every day chomping at the bit to get stuck into. None of that needs reinventing. I don’t want to clear any of it out.

I will approach 30 with the same attitude I approach any birthday, new year or Monday; with a promise to grab life by the balls and live like I mean it.

Tomorrow I will wake up next to the man that I love. I’ll plant kisses all over my little boy, who is so incredibly perfect it sometimes hurts. I’ll have breakfast and a coffee and walk my dogs through the hills. I’ll venture into the city with O and soak in the Melbourne sunshine while we meander the streets, stopping to watch buskers or the trams. We’ll play at the park for a while. Maybe we’ll pop into the library. Or a Musica Viva concert. Maybe we’ll just be for a while. And there’ll be calls from the people I love and kisses from family and the opening of presents and the excitement of my birthday party mere days away and I will probably sit back at some point and think, ‘well, isn’t this lovely.’