A Plastic World.

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I walk around these days and all I see is plastic.

Plastic that I’ve never noticed before.

Plastic that makes me feel angry, frustrated and dissappointed at humans.

Plastic that is ruining the world.

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My goal in reducing the amount of plastic I use has been an year long journey and is one that continues. When you stop and think, you realise how much plastic and disposable material humans go through in their short time here on earth.

I don’t know when it all clicked in my head and I started to make the connections but it has made a big difference to the way I live my life. These are not big changes but I know they make a big impact environmentally.

And so I extend the love and compassion I give to people, to the environment every single day and am a firm believer of the quote-

Be the change you wish to see in the world

I have seen my efforts have a ripple effect on those around me by just being concious of how I live my life.

These are the ways I have changed my day to day living to reduce plastic, I am not perfect but I am trying:-

  1. Reusable bags – I keep reusable bags in my car, at home and at work. Whenever I buy something and I have forgetten my bag, I simply don’t take a plastic one. I hold the things I bought in my hands.
  2. Light-weight thin reuseable bags – For vegetable and fruit produce when doing groceries. (https://www.thefregiesack.com.au)
  3. Frank Green Reusable cup – I don’t remember the last time I took a take away cup for coffee. If i don’t have my cup, I don’t take take away, I simple sit and enjoy coffee at a cafe. (https://frankgreen.com/au/)
  4. Menstrual Cup – Instead of single use pads, a silicon menstrual cup can last many many years and save a lot of money. (https://www.juju.com.au)
  5. Who Gives a Crap recycable toilet paper (https://au.whogivesacrap.org)
  6. Wooden spork – this is simply a spoon and fork made out of bamboo which can be used instead of take away cutlery. (https://www.ukonserve.com/Bamboo-Utensil-p/uk016.htm)
  7. Metal straw – a metal straw that is reusable and washable instead of single use plastic straws. (https://www.biome.com.au/805-reusable-straws)
  8. Water bottle – I carry it every where I go and if I didn’t bring it, I simply look for a water fountain.
  9. Reusable food wraps – A replacement for cling wrap, wraps made out of plant/bees wax that mould to the shape of anything and keep your food covered. (http://wrappa.com.au)
  10. Vapouriser/ diffuser/ essential oils – Instead of candles to scent your environment, essential oils also have different health benefits as well. (https://www.doterra.com/US/en)
  11. Bokashi Bin – I live in an apartment worm farming isn’t ideal but a small bokashi bin has completely cut off my food wastage, everything is composted and put back into the earth. I simply add my compast to a communal compost bin when my bin is full.
  12. French press + loose coffee beans – Instead of single use coffee pods for a coffee machine.
  13. Bulk-food stores – I have found a local bulk food stores that has everything from spirulina to rice, chocolate and shampoo. I simply bring glass jars to the store, weigh the jar and fill the jar with as much product as I like. No plastic, no waste.
  14. Soap Berries – A recent addition to doing my laundry. A soap nut that is a natural surfactant and is compostable. With the use of essential oils, clothes will be clean and smell clean. (https://www.thatredhouse.com.au)

There are many more ways to incorporate a day to day eco-friendly lifestyle but it is a process. I have made a lot changes and honestly there is no better feeling than coming back from a shopping trip and knowing that you did not harm the environment by the purchases you made. I say start somewhere and start now.

We should all stop being lazy and take responsibility for what is happening to the environment we live in. We have evolved to be a race that indulges in single use items, sadly the world isn’t designed for this privilge. We need to realise that the earth isn’t disposable or single use, we have ONE EARTH and that is it.  

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Possibilities.

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The year coming to a close has been stressful for the past few years. It comes with so much uncertainty. This year marks the final step before I enter the professional world and embark on an adventure that will hopefully allow me to help others while I continually grow.

For the past month, I have been worrying about what my life will look like next year or even after November. I picture it and all I can imagine is emptiness. I don’t know where I’ll live or what job I’ll be doing, (or if I’ll have a job at all) if I’ll be travelling or if I’ll find another volunteering opportunity. Such simple things that are all in my control causing me so much misery, because I let it. 

I know the worrying is wasteful and the stress that comes with it I can definitely do without but I still continue to wonder with anxiousness what my life will look like.

The uncertainty is perplexing; should I not feel like the possibilities are endless and be excited about the certainty that anything could happen! In fact, I should be grateful and feel privileged that I have options, my path is not set and it never will be. I do have control.

Upon reflection, I know that the life I have now and who I am, I could have never dreamed up 5 years ago. I can imagine and wonder about my future for the rest of my life but as I live it every moment, my imagination will never be a mirror image of reality, it can’t be, uncertainty is life’s beauty.

It is so hard to shut that worry button right off, be in the moment and be content with whatever will be, will be. 

I will aim to think of all the possibilities than lack of and let life run its course like it always has regardless of my worrying thoughts. 

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5 things I am grateful for today:

The time I get to spend with different children while on placement – I love their honest, innocent and genuine personalities.

Freedom to learn – I am constantly exploring new modes of learning and new things to learn. I am grateful for the evolution of learning and the freedom to do so. 

Grateful for life and the opportunities it has brought me thus far. 

I am grateful to have had a supervisor who was present, interested in my learning process as well as learning with me in an interactive, joyful and carefree manner.

I am grateful for growth. 

Till soon?

 

Drifting away.

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Looking back to the second time I came to Australia, entering that classroom nervously where the teacher told me to take the empty seat at the front. Who would have thought that simple gesture to sit in a seat that is usually occupied by someone else, would build what has now become years of friendship.

We live in a huge web of narratives, the narratives of the people we pass by daily and our trajectories collide for unknown reasons and people enter your life changing it from everything you’ve known it to be, towards something, for better or worse.

Reading a wealth of memoir’s over the past year that tie in closely with university material and what I believe in, I realise how important these moments are. Each of these moments adds up and eventually define who we are, who we think we are and what others see in us.

That moment when I sat on that chair marks the moment I made my long term friends. The friends I go through my first parties, jobs, failures, graduations, boyfriends, weddings and not long from now first children. As we proceed through these milestones, our personalities develop into the people we want to be. Long gone are the days where we want to be liked by one another to a point where we aren’t ourselves anymore. The days where we only saw perfection in each other are gone. Left are the days where we learn to love one another for our flaws, accept our differences and move on individually with our lives, together. I’d like to say that we haven’t drifted apart but over the years we have become different people and gravitated towards other people we identify with. We have drifted and those ‘firsts’ we experienced together don’t matter as much anymore.

Friendship is no longer calculated through the length of time we’ve known each other but who we have become and whether they add value to our lives now. As someone who always wants to do the ‘right’ thing by everyone, I struggle in situations where the right thing isn’t so clear. Is the right thing to acknowledge the drift and put the actions in motion to save that friendship or be aware of the drift and let it be. It took a while to realise the drifting was occurring and allowing the natural process of this story to pan out means that perhaps in a few years, we won’t be friends at all.

Honestly, the latter seems right because I know that the former option would require me to pretend and force something that isn’t happening without my interference, so perhaps it shouldn’t be that way at all?

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5 things I am grateful for:

Luck/Coincidence – Whichever it may be I am thankful of it lately.

Kindle – I am grateful for my little sister who bought it for me, but also grateful it was invented in the first place because right now I can’t imagine a day without it by my side on train rides.

My family

The continual opportunities that I am presented in life, thank you. I know that not everyone gets equal opportunities, I hope that in the future, I can give to those who don’t.

Nature – Sadly I haven’t been out much lately because winter isn’t my favourite season but I did take the time to appreciate the last few minutes of the sunset yesterday.

 

 

Alcohol.

I don’t think I have every quite expressed my hate towards alcohol. There are many reasons why this topic is at the forefront of my mind right now and therefore it is a perfect opportunity to talk about it.

I grew up in a household with very responsible parents. My mother has never had alcohol and is extremely against it and my dad had a rare drink but overall alcohol was not a huge part of my upbringing. I was told not to drink and that it was bad for you, that was about it.

As I grew older and my peers experimented with alcohol I was still somewhat not convinced by ‘how great’ it was. After school, I had my somewhat fair share of alcohol, not a lot compared to others but a few drunk nights and that has always been about it. I don’t drink very much right now and the reasons why I was told alcohol was bad for you when I was young is turning into a much bigger picture, a complex one.

There is much greater awareness towards early education in alcoholism for school students nowadays. There are advertisements on television targeted at parents to educate how their alcohol use affects their children’s upbringing. However, a disjoint between this education and culture exists.

This week while I was volunteering, spending time with my teenage mentee, the topic of drugs and alcohol use is presented in the book we go through each week. I go through everything related to alcohol and even some tips on how to not succumb to peer pressure and avoid people’s comments when you say you aren’t drinking.

Then my boyfriend tells me that his manager at work is distributing beers. And they are allowed to bring alcohol and drink after 3 pm if they like. In my mind, there is just something wrong with a workplace that promotes drinking and sees it as a strategy to ‘wind down’ or ‘chill out’ after a hard days work. Why not promote things that have long term benefits for the employee but I know most workplaces use alcohol.

During placement this week, I realise the sadness and trauma alcohol can bring to a family. Family breakdown, violence, sexual abuse, homelessness and many more issues stem from alcoholism and the inability for humans to control themselves.

And lastly, my own anxiousness that has come from an unknown place regarding alcohol. How I feel when people close to me are intoxicated. I feel angry and frustrated that they couldn’t control themselves and annoyed that I must deal with the aftermath.

I know it must seem like I don’t know how to have a good time but I can have a good time without alcohol. I drink sometimes but with caution. I don’t blame those who suffer from alcoholism, we are surrounded by a culture that promotes alcohol left, right and centre.

All I can say is that it destroys lives and everyone should think before they drink. 

(I acknowledge that there are many factors that contribute to alcoholism, however I am just addressing the ‘nuture’ aspects such as society, culture etc. instead of ‘nature’ such as genetics in this post)

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5 things I am grateful for:

My family – so thankful for the stability, love and care I was and am given.

Placement – I feel so enriched everyday, I am learning so much and enjoying the experience.

Old friends – nothing beats a friendly talk was a familiar voice.

Love – it is crazy how strong this emotion can be, even in the darkest of situations, love definitely shines a light.

Me – In the past week I am realising how grateful I am to simply be me, flaws and all.

Till again!

six-month review.

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So it has been six months since January 2017 and I feel a review is necessary to keep track of how things have been going in general, things I have learned and what will be happening moving forward. 

Firstly, I came into this year, hoping it would be better and that was a big mistake. Not because it wasn’t better, but because I had too many expectations, ones that weren’t realistic. I realise that things do not get better or worse, just different. The obstacles I was faced with last year were bad and this year I was faced with some bad ones too but they were just different.

1.The expectation of having a ‘happier’ future just because you change a thing or two is unrealistic because the future is what it is regardless of your expectations. We just need to focus on being happy moment to moment.

The next biggest challenge for the first half of this year has been around relationships. Twenty-seventeen started out rocky with my friends and family, things mended, but are not exactly the same. I sat around questioning everything and everyone around me because all of a sudden nothing seemed the same.

2. Relationships take moments to break and years to build. Communicating is the best way to get things across, especially uncomfortable things. Do not give people the chance to assume how you feel or what you are thinking, TELL THEM. Clear up the air, don’t sit in resentment or hate. Move forward with or without that person in your life. Expect change for better or worse because everything is impermanent. 

Next, is a discovery.

3. You can do anything. I really put my mind to staying balanced and healthy for the first few months of the year and every part of my life improved with a simple change of going for a 30-minute run/walk in the morning. We doubt our abilities/capabilities so much and never give ourselves a chance to even try and learn that you can do anything you put your mind to. 

So amongst those 3 things, I have learnt a lot more but those are the 3 takeaways. Moving forward, I handed my last assignment in yesterday. Only one semester left!

I will be heading to placement next week for 3 months and I really hope it is going to be good and enlightening. And I know that I am the only thing in between having a good or bad experience.

After that, I have a final 8 weeks of university before I am done forever! It is scary but I can’t wait to finally do something I’ve wanted to do (even though I might not get there at first, baby steps). I am excited to not think about money all the time (seriously exhausting being a student). I am also excited to just be on a different journey.

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5 things I am grateful for today:

My ability to write assignments quickly in small bursts!

Reflection – the power of reflection is extraordinary.

I am grateful to have a week off before starting placement!

I am grateful for the gloomy skies because they give beautiful sunrises/sunsets.

Nature.

Respect.

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Moving to Melbourne after living in Canberra for a fair few years was exciting and hard on many different aspects. One major concern when I moved 1.5 years ago was friends. I had had the same friends for a while now, they were familiar and I was comfortable.

What I failed to realise when I was younger but understand now is the quality of the people you surround yourself with. 

Some of this, I realised during the last years of my undergraduate degree where I voluntarily drifted from the people who were toxic in my life. They added nothing but pain, they didn’t make me a better person and they definitely did not make me happy. 

It’s funny because when you are a child you struggle to differentiate good friends from bad friends. You just long to be friends with everyone, be loved and liked, most importantly, have someone to play with at lunch.

We are taught that having friends is important, but we are not taught how to be good friends or to tell the difference from good and bad friends. Or that it is okay to walk away without seeming weak. We are not taught how to respect ourselves and because of this so many children get hurt by their ‘friends’ everyday.

Because of this I only learnt to walk away from people who shouldn’t have had a place in my life, a few years ago.

Today, I find myself saying no to gatherings with people who I don’t feel my best self around without hesitation. Today I know that if I don’t find the quality in relationships, it probably isn’t worth my time. Today I know that if I am in doubt, the answer is probably no. Today I know how to respect myself but I wish I learnt that long time ago. 

This does not mean I do not give people a chance, I do, it just means I trust my intuition. It means I cherish every moment with people who make me happy, enlighten me and spark joy. And the ones who make me feel uncomfortable or put negative thoughts in my head, are kept a little further away.

I am sure that some people feel the same about me too, but that is okay.

The key is to show appreciation, love and respect to those who treat you with the same regard. The people who don’t like you? Well that’s okay, because no one can like everyone.

Quality over Quantity. 

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5 things I am grateful for today:

Lazy days in – I was supposed to do my assignment, I sort of did but it was mostly a lazy day in.

Youtube – Man, do you hold a wealth of free knowledge!

Coffee – I wasn’t drinking coffee for a while but the cold weather has sparked a new love for it!

Creativity – Just loving my creative thoughts lately.

Nature – while sitting in my bedroom, I observed the changing weather all day long, it was beautiful.

Till again ♥

Cooking.

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So I like to think I’m not that lazy but I discovered the extent to my laziness today when I decided to challenge myself to cook dinner for my boyfriend and myself enough to last two meals each, in 1 hour!

I had a dish in mind that I had found online from a favourite youtuber of mine (pickuplimes) but was lazy to buy the ingredients earlier in the day.

So I had an hour, to buy ingredients, head home, cook and pack the food before I had to go out again.

For the majority of the time I felt like I was on ready, steady, cook! If I was on the show, I would have finished way before time was up!

I managed to make two batches because the first batch ended up being too spicy (which my boyfriend wouldn’t have been able to consume), so I made him another batch!

What I ended up with was probably a weeks worth of lunch for me and about 2 lunches for my boyfriend, all in 25 dollars (with ingredients to spare!).

So my true reflection comes from the fact that I spent double that money on the same day last week (silly I know) on uber eats for two meals!

So what did I relearn that I already knew but choose to ignore?

1. Ordering/eating up is a good way to end up with no money!

2. I am lazy- that’s right, everytime I make an excuse to not cook, it’s pure laziness.

3. Cooking takes no time at all – I made meals for two people in less than an hour!

4. It’s surprisingly soothing to cook when you are in the zone.

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5 things I am grateful for today:

  1. Productivity – unlike the weekend, I was able to complete two assignments, one more to go and I am done for the semester!
  2. Creativity – I am not usually a super creative person , I definitely can’t think of things out of the ordinary but right now for some reason I am pretty switched on. 
  3. Books – as always, they continue to enlighten me in unimaginable ways. 
  4. Cooking – I am grateful that I can cook, when I am not being lazy about it!
  5. Nature – just beautiful. 

Till again.