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

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.

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.

Go And Make Your Life Beautiful.

“When I finally get…”

“Once I’ve bought…”

“When I finish…”

“Once I’ve done…”

Boring, wearisome words.

Lifeless excuses.

If you want to rob your life, of the good, and the great, of the grand, and the majestic, keep feeding yourself lies.

Wrap them up into a neat, safe, beige parcel and call them reasons.

Believe they’re what’s holding you back.

Believe they’re why you haven’t already.

Tirelessly wait for better days.

For “when I finally get…” and “once I’ve done…” and then, when you’ve got and you’ve done, you’ll realise the cost was living your one, precious life. Abandoning your dreams. Abandoning yourself.

You have everything you need – right now – to make your life beautiful. To do the things you love. To be the person you want to be.

You do not need to wait, or delay.

“When I…” and “once I…” are traps.

And you know they are.

Stop making excuses.

Stop waiting for the right time.

Stop wishing your life away.

I will say it again: you have everything you need – right now – to make your life beautiful.

Go and make your life beautiful.

34 Things I Know, Now That I’m 34…

  1. Never stop being a good person because of bad people.
  2. Your worst battle will always be between what you know and what you feel. Go with the latter.
  3. Never let success get to your head. Never let failure get to your heart.
  4. Your time is best spent with people who make you see the world differently – not with those who flatter your view.
  5. Two things you’re going to need in life: hope and purpose.
  6. Nothing changes, if nothing changes.
  7. Find someone who speaks your language, so you don’t have to spend a lifetime translating your spirit.
  8. Own your choices.
  9. You need at least one friend in your life who understands what you do not say.
  10. Get uncomfortable. As often as possible.
  11. Some people may not deserve your love, but it doesn’t mean they don’t need it.
  12. Mostly, it’s the will, not the skill, that will be the difference.
  13. Be alone, more often than you’d like. It’s good for you.
  14. Positivity is a choice. And the happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.
  15. Being broken doesn’t give you the right to break other people.
  16. Be louder.
  17. The secret of your future is hidden in the habits of your daily routine.
  18. You give life to what you give energy to.
  19. Be afraid, but do it anyway.
  20. Perspective is everything, perception is just a lie.
  21. Never go too long without watching a sunset.
  22. Don’t put your happiness in other people’s hands. They’ll drop it. Every time.
  23. Only boring people get bored.
  24. It’s not a coincidence that the happiest people are the ones that do the most for others.
  25. Follow the flame from the fire that burns inside you, and you will always feel the light.
  26. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Every day is a special occasion.
  27. Only insecure people judge others.
  28. No one else knows what they’re doing either.
  29. You must know your worth, and not discount it.
  30. You do not have to unscrew another person’s light bulb in order to shine.
  31. If you accept your flaws, no one can use them against you. And that’s power.
  32. The wound may not be your fault, but the healing is your responsibility.
  33. It doesn’t matter who you’ve been, or what you’ve done – all that matters is who you want to become.
  34. In a world full of fish, be a shark.

Freedom…

There is no such thing as ‘getting over it’ in life.

You don’t get to go back.

Trauma changes us and tragedy disrupts us.

And that’s ok.

Maybe you lost someone.

Maybe you lost yourself.

Maybe you’ve had more bad days than good ones.

Maybe you’ve made a mistake.

Or ten thousand.

You are not defined by them.

What you’ve done is not who you are.

You aren’t damaged.

Don’t get bogged down by your ‘failures’.

You aren’t the opinion of someone who doesn’t know you, or even someone that does but doesn’t know what wakes you up in the middle of the night.

You are better for going through – and not around – something terrible.

The best people I know have depth, and parts of their story that don’t shine.

Don’t dull the muddy bits.

I’ll never stop falling in love with people who have scars but can still sustain the courage to dream. And the courage to re-write their story. Sometimes over and over.

That’s what freedom is.

That’s what rising up means.

To write the story of “this is what tried to keep me from stepping into the best version of myself, and this is how I told it to ‘sit down’”.

Maybe you’ve survived a bunch of thunderstorms and continued walking.

Maybe you got back up.

Multiple times.

You are wiser for it.

You are better for it.

Don’t ever let anyone, or any one experience, stop you from living and doing the things you love.

Society doesn’t get to tell you how to live your life.

It’s your life.

You get to decide how it goes.

There’s no trophy for having it all figured out by 30, or 40, or 50.

Life is about creating as many genuinely happy, passionate moments as possible – for you, and others.

That’s it.

Chase your dreams. Fall in love. Travel. Take detours. Study. Fall out of love. Switch jobs. Move. Stay. Fight. Give up. Go. Learn. Swerve. Grow.

There is more to you than yesterday.

Freedom is knowing that, at the dawn of a new tomorrow.

Life Is A War Of Head Vs. Heart.

Life is a war of head vs. heart. It’s tiny little moments, like: watching the flickering lights of the city from a rooftop, while the soft breeze tangles your hair and kisses your cheek. Waking up early in the middle of winter to feel the chill cut through your coat as a chai latte runs down your throat. It’s that marone jumper you love, that still smells like him.

Life is messy. It’s making mistakes, like: one too many wines that numb your lips but not your tongue. Feeding feelings with memories, instead of drowning them in tears. Driving too fast. It’s being afraid of nothing, except saying exactly how you feel, because then it’ll be real.

Life is glorious. It’s sublime moments, like: watching a radiant sunset, and feeling its glow warm your cheekbones. Goosebumps tingling across your body, as he runs his hand up your thigh. Midnight conversations with people that matter. It’s that spark, that begins when you lock eyes and ends with your souls dancing together.

Life is magic.

If you listen, it will tell you.

If you look, you will find it.

If you do, you will become.

33 Things I Know, Now That I’m 33.

1. There’s only one person responsible for your life – you.

2. It takes guts to be kind.

3. You can’t be distracted by comparison if you’re captivated by purpose.

4. A sunrise doesn’t define its glow by how it set the night before; you shouldn’t define yourself by yesterday either.

5. Blowing out someone else’s candle won’t make yours shine any brighter.

6. Whatever you focus on grows.

7. Where and how you choose to spend your time is telling – you will always make time for the things you value.

8. The best thing about the worst time of your life is that you get to see the true colours of everyone.

9. Not everyone is gold; some are simply gold-plated.

10. You gotta be a little savage.

11. Hostility towards unfamiliarity is true ignorance.

12. You aren’t owed shit; act accordingly.

13. Grief is the price of love – and it’s worth it.

14. Things may not always go to plan, and that might be the very best outcome.

15. Never judge someone by the opinion of others.

16. Nothing great can be achieved with selfish people.

17. Time heals nothing. It just replaces – or dims – memories.

18. Don’t harden up when someone mistreats you – being bitter is a waste of time, and a true disservice to yourself.

19. Feelings aren’t final – they’re fluid.

20. You leave pieces of yourself in everyone you’ve ever loved. That’s quite a responsibility.

21. You may not be able to control your situation, but you can always control your attitude towards it.

22. Collect moments, not things.

23. Never allow waiting to become a habit.

24. Don’t change parts of who you are, or what you do, or how you do it, to please someone else. Unless your aim is to be miserably unsatisfied.

25. When you stop caring about what other people think of you, you’ll find true freedom.

26. Where possible, skip the small talk. Everyone is deep, most are just afraid to dive.

27. The ‘little things’ are never really that little – they’re often the most important.

28. If you can only let go of three things, make them these: grudges, the past, and poisonous people.

29. You will never be able to escape your own heart – so listen to it.

30. Stress literally achieves nothing. Action fixes everything.

31. Worrying literally achieves nothing. Action fixes everything.

32. Pursue a life of meaning, and the happiness will come.

33. When in doubt, be extra.

32 Things I Know, Now That I’m 32.

32 Things I Know, Now That I'm 32

1. In a world where everyone’s running around, in pursuit of goals, trailing their to-do lists, be in a race towards what makes you feel good.

2. Fuck fear. Fuck it hard.

3. Honour your feelings.

4. Have your own back.

5. There’s no such thing as coincidence. And nothing is ever random.

6. You already know the answer. So follow your gut. Follow your soul. Because you already know the answer.

7. It’s only ever too late if you think it is.

8. Appreciate people for who and what they are, and for the place they have in your life.

9. If someone treats you poorly, it’s usually more about them than it is about you.

10. You can only fix something that is broken.

11. You really can do whatever you want. I’m continually shocked by how many people do not understand this.

12. When you’re scared of the height, jump. When you’re fearful of the outcome, delve. When you’re doubtful, believe.

13. Be humble.

14. I’m yet to meet a person that’s tired of seeing a blue sky. I’m also yet to sit under one and feel anything but serene.

15. Fuck ordinary. Fuck it hard.

16. Everyone has something within them that sets them alight. If you don’t feel the fire, start burning some shit.

17. It’s ok to change, and swing, and be madly passionate about one thing, and then another, and it’s ok to change your mind, and change your beliefs, and swap and switch. It really is. Everything is fluid. You, and your mind, should be too.

18. It doesn’t matter who you used to be, or what you’ve done, all that matters is who you’ve become.

19. If you want to be smart, and you seek to be compassionate, go somewhere new, as often as you can, and meet someone new, as often as you can.

20. Trouble isn’t always so bad.

21. Create your own definition of success, and work towards that.

22. Spend a bit less time focusing on how you look, and a bit more time focusing on how you think.

23. We don’t meet people by accident; they’re meant to cross our path for a reason.

24. If you’re undecided, follow what gives you energy. Energy doesn’t lie.

25. You could be the same. Or you could be better. You decide.

26. It’s only ever too hard if you think it is.

27. I’ve learnt more from pain, than pleasure. Give your heart away. Over and over. Don’t be guarded. Feel. And learn.

28. Be kind.

29. If you’re still undecided, spend some time alone. Silence has a way of delivering solutions.

30. It’s only ever too complicated if you think it is.

31. Perfect is an illusion.

32. Whatever you do, don’t die before you’re dead.

Friday.

AIDS Memorial Garden, Golden Gate Park, San Francsico, California

Here’s some things I am:

– The kind of tired sleep doesn’t fix
– Hopeful
– Embracing growth, plunging into change, still breathing
– Bruised
– Listening with an intent to understand, not reply
– Thirsty
– Getting better at saying no
– Unapologetically doing my thing

Here’s some things I know:

– Almost is the saddest word there is
– You don’t fall on top of a mountain, you climb up one
– Existing is different from being alive
– Halfway is no good; go all in
– The things worth saying, most people don’t
– Fight change or flow with it; change goes on
– You can’t fake tenderness
– Risk is given a bad rap, usually from people who never take any