INS & OUTS FOR 2023.

Samantha Jones, Sex & The City, My 2023 Icon

In:

  • throwing out the rule book 
  • solo movie dates 
  • matching effort 
  • intimate dinner parties 
  • do not disturb 
  • spontaneity 
  • matinees
  • hard launching everything 
  • top shelf tequila 
  • being “too much”
  • walking 
  • kill lists
  • sparkly, shiny everything 
  • transformation 
  • becoming a regular at a jazz club/dive bar
  • glossy lips
  • making bag and not being shy about it 
  • sweating, schvitzing, steaming
  • boldness 
  • villain era 
  • consistency 

Out: 

  • owing anyone anything 
  • almond milk 
  • small, basic people with small, basic lives 
  • scrolling
  • expecting things from people 
  • uber eats
  • minimalism 
  • limits 
  • imposter syndrome 
  • long nails 
  • relationships 
  • doing things you don’t want to do 
  • self doubt 
  • matte anything 
  • following the rules 
  • one shower a day
  • perfection 
  • comfort pits and zones 
  • shame
  • beige 
  • faux outrage over swearing

22 THINGS I LEARNED IN 2022…

The hardest year of my life has taught me a few things — who is there, and who really cares. How being strong is both a blessing and a curse. How grateful I am for the past adversity in my life, because it’s wired me differently. And probably saved me. How I am only just beginning. How young I really am. How special and rare it is to meet and make so many new friends at an age when most people’s circles get smaller, and, let’s be honest, often more boring.

Thank you, #TWENTYTWENTYWOO. I am at peace, and yet somehow on fire. Here’s to my next chapter: #TWENTYTWENTYFREE — it’s going to be my most undaunted, audacious, completely savage, terribly striking, utterly magical, slightly unhinged, unreservedly formidable year yet. 

  1. Throw out the rule book — you can rewrite your story anytime.
  2. Match effort. Respond to energy. 
  3. Sometimes being alone is an upgrade. 
  4. Two things can be true at once.
  5. Your greatest loss might just be the biggest opportunity you ever have to become fully alive. 
  6. Success is often seen as one big breakthrough, one major milestone. But the reality is success comes from the small, slow, tedious work of showing up for yourself and your dreams over and over and over again. 
  7. Even in trauma, we can still find joy. 
  8. We are all alone. That is not to say we must be lonely. Keep company. But you better like yourself. Because it’s all you’ve got.
  9. We are all flawed, but we are still worthy. 
  10. Sometimes the fear doesn’t go away, so you have to do it afraid. 
  11. Life is full of sudden goodbyes. 
  12. The most courageous thing you can do is…what you want. This will make other people uncomfortable. They can get used to it or choke on it. Their call. 
  13. We are all going to suffer. You decide whether you cling to it, or whether you heal from it. 
  14. You know who’s going to give you everything? Yourself. 
  15. Children learn what they live. Your actions and attitude will determine if they live well — the rest of the stuff we worry about is just noise. 
  16. As you vibrate higher, as you level up, it may seem like your world is falling apart — but it’s falling into place. Don’t be surprised when those preventing progress are removed from your life.
  17. Spend the afternoon. You cannot take it with you. 
  18. Many people will be drawn to your light but will fold at their inability to handle it. Take nothing personal. 
  19. Romanticise your life. Even through the mess and uncertainty. Especially through the mess and uncertainty. 
  20. Perspective and gratitude is all you need to live in the now. Practice both daily. 
  21. It all works out in the end. 
  22. The woman who’s hustling cannot understand the woman who’s hating. We don’t speak the same language. This year, I’ve come to understand my hustle offends some. Good. I hope my hustle offends the shit of out you. I hope my stamina frightens you (it should, you could never). I hope my sparkle burns your eyes. I have so much more for you to be mad at. Just wait. 

ALL WE HAVE IS MOMENTS…

Every now and again I turn to my camera roll and flick through moments captured in time, and every time I find something new. It’s often raw and unpolished and of nothing terribly, seemingly significant, except maybe to me. And in that one little reflective moment, it all comes back. The hum of the city. The footsteps beside me. The heat. The orange sunset ricocheting off the 9th Avenue buildings. If those streets could talk. The stories they would tell. If we only understood that all we have is moments, strung together, that we bundle up and call a life. Maybe we’d make the most of our moments. Maybe we’d live more, in every moment. Maybe we’d never take a single one for granted, ever again.

WHAT IT MEANS TO BE ITALIAN.

“There’s a well-known Roman saying: mangia bene, ridi spesso, ama molto. I’m not sure there’s another expression that surmises the Italian way of life so succinctly, so accurately, as it. 

Eat well, laugh often, love much.

Good advice for living. And if there’s one thing Italians excel at, it’s living.”

Read my full article for Italy Segreta here.

ON GOAL DIGGIN’ & PLANNIN’…

There’s going to be a lot of people happy to see the back of 2020. I won’t necessarily be. I don’t buy into the idea of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ years. Time is a gift — even, and especially, the hard times — and what drives me, every day, is the desire to live like I mean it.

Seneca once wrote, “It’s not that we have a short time to live. Just that we waste a lot of it.” Seems he was onto something over 2,000 years ago. What I know is things don’t accidentally happen in life. You don’t magically wind up where you want to be.

It’s a controversial statement for 2020, but I’ve had a pretty marvellous year. I credit a lot of it to my daily MiGoals practice — every morning I review my goals, brain dump tasks and to-dos, hopes and wishes, I list what I’m grateful for and what habits I want to form. At night, I reflect on how I could have made my day better and celebrate my wins.

What I know is small steps in every day moments result in big changes. Don’t ask me where I want to be in five or ten years — I’m not that type of goal digger. Ask me what I want to achieve today. Who I want to be tomorrow. What I want to contribute to the world this year. What I want to savour right now.

I spent almost eight months in lockdown this year. A lot was missed and lost, but a lot was also gained. I got fitter. I rebranded @campawakenings, then launched an online store. I wrote. I redesigned this blog. I got stronger. I relaunched @MelbWritersClub@OnyaMag had its biggest year in business. Ever.

I’ve got some big, soul-filling goals for 2021. Maybe you do, too. My suggestion would be to start now. Don’t spend another moment, let alone year, doing the same shit. Every tiny little habit you tick off each day is a vote for who you want to become. Not enough people dare to dream big, let alone have the courage to map out their dreams and then chase them.

Do the work. Show up for yourself. Sit with yourself. Be honest to yourself. Be brave in your choices. Then get at it. No one is coming to save you, to help you, to fix you. What you want isn’t going to land in your lap or fall from the sky. Dream, plan, work. Hold yourself accountable. And repeat. 

Growing Up Italian.

My first piece for Italy Segreta is live and it’s a personal one on displacement, belonging and family.

“I was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, but people always ask me where I come from. My parents were born in Italia; my Mum in Abruzzo and my Dad in Friuli. They migrated to Australia separately, with their respective families, and met in Melbourne when they were in their twenties. 

Growing up, I wasn’t sure where I was placed. I was Australian, but not completely. I was Italian, but not fully. At home, in Australia, they call me The Italian. In Italy, when I visit, they refer to me as L’Australiana.”

Read the full article here.

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.