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⁣

It Me: Workin’ Nine To Thrive.

Thanks to Health & Fitness Travel for the feature in their Strong, Healthy Women Interview Series.

You can read the interview here.

It was great chatting to Vahe Arabian at State of Digital Publishing on digital media, my (not so) typical days, journalism, writing and my favourite working tools.

You can read the interview here.

A Great Perhaps.

the poet spoke seven last words ⁣
“i go to seek a great perhaps”⁣
but i don’t want to wait until i die ⁣
when it’s time to join the birds⁣
to start seeking a great perhaps⁣
to finally feel like i can fly⁣
i want to feel this life while i’m in it⁣
uncaged, vibrant, brutally conscious, free⁣
perhaps ⁣
oh what a word⁣
filled with so much possibility ⁣
perhaps⁣
is an uncomfortable place ⁣
but what a place to be⁣
true ⁣
free⁣
it’s the life for me⁣
perhaps ⁣
perhaps⁣
there’s nowhere i’d rather be 

They’ll Never Get You…

“They’ll never get you,” he says, walking ahead of me, teetering on the edge of the gutter. “They’ll never see you like I do. And they can’t, you haven’t shown them the darkest and dustiest corners of your mind.”

I stop and stare at him, my shoe hitting a lip in the concrete.

He turns and edges closer to me, then reaches out and tucks a wayward curl behind my ear. “And you ask me not to love you,” he sneers.

I stare at him, willing myself to look away, knowing I won’t.

“It’s hard to not fall in love with someone,” he continues, getting even closer, “when they’ve shown you the mixed up parts of their soul, and you’ve shown them yours.”

I keep staring.

His hand is lingering on my cheek, his fingers falling past my ear.

“Say it,” he demands, towering over me, feet firmly planted atop the gutter.

I’m still staring at him.

“The deeper our conversations, the more I find to love about you.”

“Stop it,” I tell him.

“I won’t,” he retorts, “I won’t because I’ll never get enough of exploring who you are.”

“Don’t,” I beg, shaking my head from side to side.

He stares, long and hard.

I finally look away.

His hand drops off my face.

He takes a few steps and turns, pausing to gaze through the glass walls of an office building, fixated on a painting in the foyer.

I let him hover for a while, before approaching.

“It’s a cool painting,” I say.

He’s silent.

We stand, side by side, staring at the hues of orange and blue, red and violet, that blur in front of us.

“You might never say it,” he states, turning to face me, “but I know.” He starts to walk away.

Now I’m fixated on the painting.

“C’mon,” he shouts, “let’s roll.”

I turn and see him sauntering off, his boots kicking out just a bit to the side with each step. He walks like he has nowhere and everywhere to be, all at once. It’s captivating, and irritating.

“Let’s get a nightcap,” he suggests, swaggering down the street, “and you can continue to pretend you don’t love me.”

I laugh and scoff, all at once, smiling, and blushing.

It’s so annoying when he’s right.

Unfuckwithable.

I’ve never understood people that choose negativity over positivity.

But as I’ve gotten older I’ve realised that some people are wired for negativity – they get off on being argumentative and combative. They thrive on being toxic. Thrive on destruction. And drama.

It’s harder to be positive. It’s harder to spread positivity. But – and I’ve said this a million times – it’s so worth it.

Negative people think they’re a victim of circumstance; positive people know they create their own reality.

Negative people live in scarcity – with a mindset of ‘there is not enough.’ Positive people live in abundance, knowing there is always enough.

Negative people know they are alive temporarily, and that scares them. Positive people know they are alive temporarily, and they think that’s awesome.

Negative people are in competition with the world. Positive people are in harmony with the world.

Negative people complicate things – they lie, especially, and most importantly, to themselves. Positive people are happy – especially, and most importantly, within themselves.

So why do people persist with being negative?

Ego.

Ignorance.

Control.

And because it’s easy.

And most people are lazy.

It’s easier to criticise someone else than to focus on your own shortcomings. It’s easier to plant the seed of doubt in someone than it is to work on your own self-doubt. It’s easier to judge than it is to self-reflect. It’s easier to mock someone else’s dreams than it is to have the courage to pursue your own. It’s always, always, always easier to be negative than positive.

But good things don’t grow in negativity. And do you know what’s louder than it? Positivity.

Positivity wins. Always.

For those of you working hard to be positive; keep it up. Stay in your lane. Ignore negativity. Do not feed into drama. Do not allow toxicity to drain you.

People will try and kill your dreams. People will try and assassinate your character. And when they don’t get their way, they’ll try harder. When they realise they can’t control you, they’ll try and control how other people see you.

Stay above it.

Trust that other people will see the truth.

And they will.

Because you can only hide in negativity for so long.

Be unbothered.

Unbothered by negative souls.

Because that’s a goal worth striving for.

If you can be unbothered by negative souls, then you’ll understand the true meaning of the word freedom.

And that makes you unfuckwithable.

When you are truly at peace and in touch with yourself, you’re unfuckwithable.

When nothing anyone says or does bothers you, you’re unfuckwithable.

When no negativity or drama can touch you, you’re unfuckwithable.

A dear friend recently described me as having ‘a no-fucks vivacity and an all-the-fucks heart.’ It might just be one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me.

I do give no fucks, about the things that don’t matter.

I do give all the fucks, about the things that do.

I am unbothered. And unfuckwithable.

And I hope you can find the courage – and the calm – to be so too.

You have no idea how petrifying you will be to someone who only knows how to deal and trade in negativity when you’re unfuckwithable. When you’re positive. When you’re happy.

Their energy is wasted. Their words fall on deaf ears. Their efforts amount to nothing.

All the while you soar.

Believe.

Achieve.

Be kind.

Be positive.

Stay in your lane.

It’s harder.

It’s tempting to veer.

But stay in your lane.

I promise you it’s worth it.