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. 

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.

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. 

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 

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⁣

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 

Love Me Reckless.

grab my hair

like you grabbed my heart

forcefully, with both fists

slide your hands down

my back, my hips

soak me in

those lips, your fingertips

i want it

the tornado of your love

gripped to my curves

take me, flood me, break me

don’t love me tenderly

love me reckless

render me breathless

A Beautiful Moment In Time.

“Don’t deny your fire,” he said. “Just be who you are and burn.”

Whenever the sky is hazy and pink, I think of him. And what he said. In that beautiful moment in time.

“March on solider,” he said, as he pulled me up from the ground by my left shoulder, while I wiped tears from my cheek. Whenever things get tough, I think of him. And what he said. In that beautiful moment in time.

“Everything else is just extra,” he said, as he swigged the rest of his coffee and threw his jacket on. “It’s all glitter and sparkles.” And he was right. In that beautiful moment in time.

“It’s okay to ricochet between certainties and doubts,” he said. And it is. Whenever I’m in between, I think of him. And what he said. In that beautiful moment in time.