Who Run The World?

The glorious Luana Spadafora recently interviewed and featured me in her ‘Who Run The World’ series.

Check out the full interview, where we chat about everything from career to COVID, here.

I Miss The People That Make The Places.

The thing I miss about travelling isn’t so much the places — it’s the people.

I miss the guy I met in Midtown after the Dees pumped the Hawks, the one I got on the Bloody Mary’s at 7am with, and ran around Manhattan alongside, chasing shots and pasta and pastrami sandwiches.

I miss that girl I met in line at the W. The one with the tips for an Aussie in Brooklyn.

I miss that mate I made from Moscow.

Those scriptwriters in The High Line Hotel lobby.

The Cambridge professor I met on the boat four hours off mainland Australia. The way our kids played together.

I miss the stoop hangs with strangers on sweltering nights in the Village. T

hat soldier on the train in Venice.

The bargirl at the Irish.

That muso at the Inn.

Those boys with the tugboats.

That woman in Italy with the big smile and bigger hugs.

I miss Mama Vi at the Harlem Choir.

Those chefs at the Adelaide Central Market.

That winemaker. And that winemaker. And that winemaker.

The guy with the jet, and the sprawling penthouse. The way the crease in his smile sparkled, like he knew he owned everything, including my stare.

I miss the jazz bar owner in New Orleans with the beret and cheeky wink.

Those girls at brunch in Switzerland.

I miss running through the underground tunnels during a layover at LAX to get forty-five more minutes with that gem I bar hopped Stone Street with.

That art dealer.

Her author friend.

Those college grads in San Francisco that I taught how to really dance.

The Wall Street bankers that I only just outdanced.

I like new places, old places, foreign places, familiar places — but what I really love is the people that make the places.

The chance encounters, the serendipitous meetings, the random run-ins, the way one thing connects you and then a million tiny moments fuse you together.

I miss the chase, being chased, the buzz, being the buzz, the turns around wrong corners, the stumbles into right arms, the bumping of shoulders in vestibules, the knocking of knees at barstools.

I miss the way he’d throw his head back when he laughed.

The way she sang.

The way he sauntered down West 10th.

Moment after moment.

Forever etched into my heart, my memory, my skin.

My Visit To ‘Beauty Island’.

A couple of months ago, when you could go places, I was thrilled to sit down with beauty journalist, @brittanybeautybts, on the award-nominated beauty podcast that celebrates life and lipstick, @beautyislandpodcast. It’s one of my favourite pods, and I was chuffed to be a guest on it.

Brittany and I had such a wonderful chat about my career, writing, being brave, and, of course, my favourite beauty products that hold a special memory or meaning for me.

Give it a listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

Almost Two Months.

Day 54.

Almost two months.

Of juggling and wading and balancing and shifting.

Almost two months of going through the gamut of human emotion.

Almost two months of elation and sadness and confusion and productivity and exhaustion and positivity and cocooning and laughter and frustration.

I made a decision almost two months ago, one I didn’t even consciously realise at the time; this whole experience wasn’t going to happen to me — I was going to happen to it.

That if I couldn’t go anywhere, I’d instead go inside myself. And ask some questions.

Like why do I think the way I think? Am I using my full potential? What does success mean to me? What do I want to change? What habits do I want to foster? What stories do I tell myself? What really matters to me?

I have pages of questions and more pages of answers.

I have fostered new habits.

I have dug deep and I’m not nearly at the bottom.

I’ve realised there’s some things I miss about ‘normal’ life, but some I absolutely don’t.

There’s some things I can’t wait to get back to, and some things I never will.

I knew this period would offer growth, and clarity, but I didn’t realise quite how much.

I love getting uncomfortable — I’ve made a life out of it — but I haven’t often enough allowed the space for things to get really quiet. And really still.

Because that’s genuinely uncomfortable.

Sitting — still, silent — with yourself.

Now I do it on the daily.

And, almost two months on, I can say with absolute assurance that you will bloom if you take the time to water yourself.

Also — I’m still living in playsuits. 

Courage And Cause.

“I was waiting for something extraordinary to happen, but as the years wasted on nothing ever did unless I caused it.” —  Charles Bukowski 

I think about that quote, one of my favourites, a lot. In many ways, it’s one of the defining manners by which I live my life. Not the waiting bit, I’m no good at that. But the bit about causing things to happen. I get that.

I sometimes wonder, like I was just now, walking around in the glorious autumn sunshine, ‘how did I get so lucky?’ ‘Why am I so blessed?’ ‘Why me?’ and then I realised it’s not by chance, not by coincidence, not by fate, and certainly not by luck. It’s because I caused it. 

Because I’ve been ferociously protective of where I invest my energy. Because I’ve gotten uncomfortable. Because I’ve done the work. Because I’ve shown up. Because I keep showing up — even, and especially — when it’s hard and inconvenient and tricky and messy. 

It’s because I’ve gone deep. Because I’ve taken responsibility. Because I’ve owned my choices. Because I’ve lived in accordance with my values. Because I’ve believed in myself —  backed myself. Because I’ve operated from a space of no judgement — no judgement on others, on myself. Because I’ve chosen, and continue to choose, my attitude. Every single day. 

It’s because of these things that I find myself here — mid global pandemic, in the throes of social isolation, with an empty schedule and a strange new normal — filled with gratitude. Occupied with excitement. Loaded with love. Exploding with ideas. Executing plans. 

You don’t accidentally wind up living a life that makes you burst out of bed each morning, one that fulfils you, one that enriches others, one that makes you proud. 

It takes guts, and courage, and gumption, and nerve, and an abundance of never-ending work. And all of that is reliant on you taking action. On making things happen. On causing it.

I’m reminded of the old Latin proverb; ‘fortune favours the brave.’

Turns out, it’s true. 

A COVID-19 Plea, For My Fellow Aussies…

Our world’s in a tailspin,

our reality has shattered,

if you’re anything like me,

you’re having a solid think about what matters.

You might be anxious, and scared,

maybe you’re angry, and in despair,

anyone else have trouble sleeping,

wondering what kind of world we’ve been keeping?

The handshake is gone, the high five too,

I don’t know where you sit, but this elbow tap business won’t do.

Our lives have been cancelled,

or at best postponed,

every festival has been called off,

and everyone’s working from home.

Whole industries are wiped,

so many jobs in hiatus,

while we sit inside,

wondering if anyone’s coming to save us.

The doctors, they’re pleading,

the mums, they’re screaming,

the curve isn’t flattening,

we aren’t doing what we’re needin’.

And the shelves are stripped bare,

no pasta, eggs, dunny paper or rice,

some people are even turning on each other

in the supermarket with knives.

This is not the country I grew up in,

not the one based on mateship,

or having a fair go,

and to be honest, I think it’s time for everyone to get a grip.

We know it’ll be over,

hopefully sooner rather than later,

and then we can get back to the things we love;

footy and gigs and seeing our mates over a pint at the pub.

Now isn’t the time for division,

for selfish behaviour,

it’s time to rally together,

and forget about the idea of a saviour.

Like time and time before,

it’ll be us that saves us,

the writers, the musos, the actors, the painters,

the comedians, the baristas, the teachers, the tradies,

the scientists, the nurses, the thinkers, the ladies,

the lovers, the dreamers, the poets, the babies.

We’ve got a fight ahead,

no matter how you see it,

for we are young and free,

except when we’re not, and now there’s a distance between you and me.

Now we’re social distancing,

and in self isolation,

two phrases I’ve never used before,

they’re the opposite of what it means to be an Australian.

Suddenly we find ourselves,

a little lost and a lot more alone,

thankfully it’s 2020,

and we’ve got these god forsaken phones.

And when it all passes,

I hope we make it through the other side a little kinder,

spreading much more love than hate,

I just wish we didn’t have to go through this as a reminder.

There’s some things we’ll all be doing,

you can count on it for sure,

like living like we mean it,

and not treating our time as an afterthought.

Right now, I miss a lot,

but I’m grateful for all I’ve got,

I just can’t wait to get back out there,

and be done with this nightmare.

Sure, it’s not the worst,

and staying in is the right thing to do,

but tell me it doesn’t kill you,

or that you haven’t felt a little blue?

Hold it close,

then remember what’s good,

all the things we’ve taken for granted,

all the places we wish we could.

It’s time to come together,

by keeping ourselves apart,

and while that’s hard to do,

if you haven’t already, please start.

Stay at home,

I beg you,

stay at home,

it’s not just the flu,

stop thinking of only yourself,

you’re not doing this for you.

Our most vulnerable need us,

and our old mates, too,

and if you don’t think they’re worth saving,

I want nothing to do with you.

When this is all over,

and we’re out on the streets,

and back at the bars and swamping the beach,

I want you to remember,

how tragic it felt,

to have life as we know it,

ripped from us at full pelt.

Do not forget,

those who have failed to lead us,

do not forgive,

those that refused to adjust.

I can’t wait for the day,

for this to be done,

so I can walk into the home I grew up in,

and hug my mum.

Stay at home,

I beg you,

stay at home,

it’s not just the flu,

stop thinking of only yourself,

you’re not doing this for you.

Be Well, Be Kind, Be Brave.

I think now is as pertinent a time as ever to say a few things I’ve got on my mind:

Kindness begins and ends with us. Individually and collectively. Ditto consideration. And respect. Use yours liberally, without reservation. 

Panic is not a plan. Panic is not a plan. Say it louder, for the people in the back. 

It can be easy to get caught in the unrelenting news cycle, but refreshing your feed every five minutes is not helpful or healthy. Be informed, heed warnings and advice, be proactive, be responsible, aim to help flatten the curve. But switch off the TV. Close the apps. Then take a walk. Soak in some gorgeous autumn sunshine. Breathe. 

We’ve had a rough few months in Australia — robbed of a summer because it was in flames, every breath choked by smoke. That anger you had over that? That sadness? Don’t direct it into fear. Repurpose it and put love and money and hope into the many small towns that still need you. And if you want to direct anger anywhere, send it via Climate Act Now and put pressure on your local MP and the government to act on climate change. 

You’re allowed to feel however you want to feel. If that’s scared, anxious, concerned, in limbo, completely unaffected…you do you. There’s a wave of emotions out there right now and we’ve got to ride them. Just remember that kindness begins and ends with us. 

Finally, and maybe most importantly: if you haven’t already been living like you mean it, every day, it’s time to start. In fact, you’re overdue. Time is finite, nothing is guaranteed. Don’t wait for the disaster, the diagnosis, the pandemic, the problem. Your world, our world, can change at any moment, so please, I implore you, live like you mean it. Enjoy every moment. Do what you love. Be grateful for what you have. You already have more than you need. Do what you can for others, do what you can for you. Drown in life. Wildly. Bathe in it. Soak it in. Plunge it in love. Drench it in laughter. Nothing else matters. 

Once we’re on the other side of this, I’m popping this gold number back on and shouting you all a well deserved chilli margarita. 

Until then, be well, be kind, be brave. 

I love you all x

Give Me The City That Never Sleeps.

give me the city that never sleeps

with its constant buzz and grimy bars 

the one we end up strewn across

from hotel lobbies to unnamed cars 

i don’t need to scream 

make me forget how to breathe instead

tangle your fingers through my hair

enmesh yourself in my bed

drink me in, the way you do a good red wine

slowly, at first, just one sip 

let the crushed grape linger on the back of your tongue

then hold it there and feel the bite against your lip 

you crave kisses by the truckload

you know i long for them too 

the nape of my neck, the curve on your chest 

i’ll never stop devouring you 

you love my pure heart

you want my dirty mind

come home to them both and tempt fate

it’s only in seeking that you may find 

Choose Joy…

Around this time of year, people start wishing for it all to be over – the year, the day to day, the busyness of life. But I don’t want to plod my way across some imaginary finish line that marks the end of the year. I want to roll in with a bloody bang. And savour every last day. December isn’t a month to be wished away. This decade is never coming back. So this is your friendly reminder that you could die, at any time, or your entire world as you know it could change, at any given moment. Maybe, if you’re not already, it’s time to start living like you mean it. Living like this one precious life you have is fleeting. Maybe it’s time to stop telling yourself stories and start getting uncomfortable. Living in truth. Maybe it’s time to start choosing joy. Joy doesn’t just happen. It’s a decision you make about how you are going to live your life — and how you are going to respond to life. Here’s what I know: joy attracts joy. Here’s something else I know: who you surround yourself with is who you are. Who are you spending the rest of this year, this decade, with? My advice is to find people who speak your language, so you don’t have to spend a lifetime translating your spirit. The kind of people who understand what you do not say. The kind of people who light a fire in you. The ones who fill you with joy. Find one, or ten, of them. But more than anything, be one of them. The clock ticking over at New Year might signify a fresh start for some, but I don’t buy into that, and never have. You can reinvent yourself anytime you like. You can reflect, and reassess, on any day of the damn year. Fresh starts happen anytime you decide to embark on one. All you have is now. And, to me, that seems like a perfect place to start. Go be who you want to be. The person you need. Don’t put your happiness in a person, a possession or a profession. Joy is up to you. So is how you spend the last thirty-four days of this year. And any days you get beyond that. Find your joy — and keep choosing it every day.

Give Me What I Crave.

give me what i crave⁣

those hands in my hair ⁣

force me against the wall⁣

your heart beating bare

⁣i want that delicate balance ⁣

your fingerprints covering my skin ⁣

yet wrap me in your arms ⁣

in your lips, your grip, your sin ⁣

take me, silently, break me, tenderly⁣

until your kisses erase my scars ⁣

bruise my lips, devour me whole ⁣

show me what it means to see stars⁣

i might have my demons⁣

and you might have yours too ⁣

but mine are far more trouble⁣

because all my demons look like you⁣