Drifting away.

19720511_10211120891032746_315037776_o

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?

_________________________________________________________________________________

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.

 

 

Advertisements

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)

____________________________________________________________________________________________

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.

IMG_1223

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.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

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.

IMG_1219

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. 

__________________________________________________

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 ♥

Without you, there is no us.

18763267_10210779787385368_376345996_n

January 2016 – Sri Lanka

In times of stress and worry, I fail to look after myself. Sometimes the pressures of life make it seem as though you come last, everything else matters but you. I am here to tell you and myself that this is not true, even though you may feel otherwise.

Whatever your worries and/or stresses may be, there are some things we all have to do to take care of ourselves. Not only will these things alleviate your stress but also prompt you to formulate more logical, objective and structured answers to your problems.

  1. Eat – nourish your body to nourish your mind. Eating is vital. Your brain is already on overdrive in times of stress, not eating will cause a malfunction. So do not forget to eat. Balanced meals would be ideal, but eating in general is a good place to start. (unless you are a stress eater, which in this case probably doesn’t apply to you)
  2. Sleep – my simple rule when making big decisions or when trying to get through something, is sleep. No better way is there to shut yourself off for a few minutes or hours, to rest and settle and approach the problem with a better mindset.
  3. Go outside – extremely overlooked when stressed is nature and the calmness it can bring. I find going for a walk (doesn’t have to be long) and focusing on the sky, trees (especially leaves) and the weather extremely relaxing. It also puts things into perspective, that this world is full of great simple things, you just have to notice them.
  4. Take a shower or bath – this is almost ritualistic to me. After a really bad day or situation, I take a shower almost to signify getting rid of negative emotions and thoughts and moving on refreshed.
  5. Read a book – sometimes I know that my problems are small and easy to deal with but I am still upset and overwhelmed, I have a go to book called ‘Opening the Door of Your Heart: And Other Buddhist Tales of Happiness’ by Ajahn Brahm who is an English buddhist monk that writes short thoughtful, quirky and light stories that gives you a change of heart. That is just my go to, whatever works for you is good.
  6. Journal/write things down – Externalising your feelings and thoughts is so helpful when you are overwhelmed and confused. You can reflect on what you have written and even make your own prompts/questions to answer, to better understand how you are feeling. I journal a few times a week and this space is also an outlet for me, writing what I am going through is a release.

 

And those are my 6 strategies that may or may not work for you, but they work for me. There are many others and not every problem in life can be solved with these. I acknowledge some problems are extremely complex and terrible, but for day to day get downs, these work well.

Take care of yourself and love yourself, you are important. 

Rumination.

IMG_7739

I am always surprised with the way people are, or more so who are they.

Do people only act in a way to always only benefit themselves?

Have I been too sheltered?

Are people truly evil on the inside?

I am evil?

I am constantly hurt by words, I don’t want to be, I want to be stronger. 

How do I become stronger?

Perhaps it is time to stop ruminating.

Rumination kills the soul.

Rumination causes depression.

Rumination is the enemy, not people.

Nothing is good or bad, thinking makes it so, right?

I think it is time for some meditation!

5 things I am grateful for today:

My boyfriend – he never fails to support and broaden my perspective on who I am, constantly reminding me to shed the self-doubt, up the self-love and believe in myself and who I am.

Pizza – just deliciously bad of you, mmm.

Outdoors – Although it has been quite cold, I enjoy the autumn leaves in the wind and cold air on my face. It is refreshing in times where I feel trapped to be outside.

Uni friends – never have I met such great supportive and genuine people.

this blog – although it isn’t much, it is my release to a world that is private yet public, I feel free and not judged.

Taken for granted.

Sometimes I feel like I am taken for granted, taken advantage of and not appreciated. 

These are terrible things to feel so I have decided to redirect my feelings to remind myself of the things most of us take granted for in life and to appreciate these things.

  1. Garbage collectors – most of you wake in the early morning hours before the rest of the city to collect our waste. You ensure cleanliness, hygiene and overall beauty of our surroundings.
  2. Teachers – personally I have always had a level of respect for teachers, whether it be a cultural thing or just my appreciation towards them but they deal with a lot, are constantly under pressure and under paid. Education is the cure to most issues in this world, so without our teachers/mentors/lecturers, knowledge would struggle to be passed on.
  3. Mothers and Fathers – The countless and altruistic efforts of my mother and father to take care of their family is admirable.
  4. Freedom – Although some may argue none of us are really ‘free’, I am free compared to the many others in this world, past and present.
  5. Safety – I come from an area that is relatively safe, I can walk out and not feel scared. Unfortunately, sometimes terrible things do happen but right now the chances of that are low for me.
  6. Opportunities – everyday we dismiss opportunities because it isn’t the opportunity we wanted, but we must be grateful that we even got the choice to decline an opportunity.
  7. Home – I am lucky enough to call 3 places home; my home in Melbourne, my parents home in Canberra and my family home in Sri Lanka. I have a place to go back to every night, to be safe and warm and that should never go unappreciated.
  8. Food – the ability to walk into your kitchen, shop or restaurant and grab any food you may please is a blessing.
  9. Free time – These days we spend a lot of time in front of screens aimlessly scrolling through social media, our free time dwindles into nothing and we also feel like we are always running out of time.
  10. Sun – I definitely don’t appreciate the sun enough. I love the sun and on gloomy days I complain but fail to go out enough on sunny days.