Sunday, January 25, 2015

12 Week Challenge

To say I got a little lax over the Chrjstmas and New Year period might be a bit of an overstatement when you consider I ate half of the teapot cake myself. 

And ate some crap each day because I was too busy to make a good lunch and too lazy to get up earlier to make it anyway. But some things did remain: breakfast daily consisted of protein shakes mixed with Garcinia cambogia, and when I did get time I turned to sandwiches, subway or homemade, sushi on Fridays, and a ridiculous amount of fruit. Seriously I was sucking on berries like some kind of fruit bear. 

And not the Fruit Eating Bears band from the 90's. 

Being a frugivore is apparently a real thing, and some days a work I practically was one with the amount of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and the occasional melon I stuffed the fridge with.  

Other than that, let's just forgive me of my bad food sins and move on. 

Today the 12 week challenge begins. The idea is to work out and eat healthy, but as per the strict regime of a set plan when the gain is not only self satisfaction and health benefits but the potential to also win some money. 

So I hired a personal trainer, did some shopping and now I'm ready to go. I won't pretend I didn't overstuff with sugar and crap yesterday - deliberately pushing it so I'd feel gross afterwards and be leaving it behind gladly. But with the shake down of my system I kind of felt the need for a last hurrah before I moved on anyway. 

And so here it is: 

Are you ready? 

Sam xox 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Old Flame

I've been in love before. Only once and a long time ago now that it's almost like a distant dream. Something that happened in another life, to another Sam. A younger Sam, a more enchanted Sam. 

Things are different now. 

In the 3 years since that dreadful morning I've been infatuated and I've meet lovely guys all over the world. I've batted my lashes, I've tripped over my own feet, I've kissed, danced, giggled, cried and sometimes just wished on a star for something new. It's been fun, it's been lonely, it's been exciting and it's been disenchanting, but in all this time not one person has made me feel the way that he did. 

He never knew how I felt, I could never tell him how strong my feelings were or how much he was everything I had ever wanted. Not because I didn't want to but because at the time I was afraid and things were complicated as in the real world they always are. It seemed there was never the right time, that he wouldn't want to know. And for a long time afterwards I wondered if I had just been honest then things never would have turned out the way that they had. That maybe he'd have known that I didn't want anyone else and that I would have just about done anything for him. Maybe he'd have thought I was enough then. 

But like I said, that was another time. I am not that person anymore and I know that if he had been as worthy as all that then what happened would not have happened. My starry eyes didn't deserve that fate, or that heartache. 

I've been single all my life - never had a partner before, not even him, and despite it all he didn't actually put me off. I used to hope that someone would come along and think the world of me like I had of him, that I would feel that intensely again. And for a little while I even grew anxious, afraid, that I never would again. What if no one made me feel that way again?  Would I live out the rest of my life with lukewarm feelings moving from one fickle infatuation to the next each time I snapped out of it? 

It was the fear of missing out more than anything, knowing that I had lived almost 25 years without this huge part of daily life because I'd just not experienced it and I simply could not do it alone. I am a very independent person, having to miss out because I am single has never been acceptable to me. But when being single for my entire life span meant that I was forced to miss out on so much over the years, that did not suit. I had no choice and I've missed out on so much I would sometimes become a like a puppy at the pet shop just waiting to be adopted. And I hated that. 

It goes against everything that the 21at century independent woman in me stands for, and when I don't lose sleep backpacking for months on end on my own it almost kills me to know that I can't do everything. It's limiting. 

What if I run out of things that I can do on my own?

I was in love once. I felt strongly and passionately with everything I had. It took a long time to reclaim what I lost, but still when you try to tape all the jagged pieces back together you don't always get everything. No heart smashes cleanly. You can't always find every tiny sliver and pick it up for the pile to mend later. Something always gets lost. What if I never find it? What if I never feel that way again? What if I never have the chance?

I'm not sworn off men. I tried it once when I was younger but being a young independent woman who doesn't need a man doesn't mean that I wouldn't like one someday. I suffered enough, I paid for it, I mended. I've done so much on my own and I buy whatever I want with my own money. But if I never feel that way again in my lifetime I will never be satisfied. I am a sensitive, emotional human being and I have so much care, passion and love to give that will be so much more than a shame to waste. 

It doesn't have to be today, or tomorrow, or next week or even this year, but at the end of the day it's been almost 25 years of doing my own thing. 3 years since I've felt passionate and strongly about another person. Life is only passing me by. 

It's not something I wish on stars for anymore, I don't ask for it in my tarot or hope for it with my horoscope. I don't make it a resolution or a goal for the year. I don't waste the breath or the wish or the energy. I just have faith that when the time is right and it's my turn, and I've earnt it, then it'll be so. 

Just, not another 25 years. I'd appreciate it.

He never truly loved me, but I deserve to be loved. I'll never be able to forget him or what happened entirely, but at least he showed me that I could feel. Someday I just want to feel that way again. 

Sam xox 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The clock

Time is a strange thing. As one character from Angel once said, "there is so little and so much of it". Now that is completely true, as we all know. How often do we think time flies or time crawls? It's the one thing that will consistently do the opposite of what you want it to do; speed up when you're having fun because you're not aware of it, and slow right down when you're hoping for it to pass more quickly. 

Time can be hell on earth, or nirvana depending on how you look at it. It can be jaded, understanding and comforting. It can be the difference between unbelievable pain and ultimate salvation. But you know what else it can be? A limit, an expiry. A countdown. 

How many of us countdown, every day, in one way or another. Most of the time it's us who count down time, but what about those other instances when time counts us down? 

Fate, destiny, body clock. Time might be relative but we never have control of it even if we trick ourselves into believing we can by inventing clocks and sundials and keeping busy. We can't stop it, we can't rewind. But most importantly of all we can't predict what time will do. 

Sometimes I think about that. That time is running out and the clock is ticking. But it's not always this frightening as it has been recently. I'm not usually afraid of the future, but sometimes, even for a little while, I am. And right now is one of those times. What will happen to me when this clock runs out? It was easier to ignore when it was a year ago, a safety net almost. But now?

There's so little time left and for once I'm terrified of that unknown. 

Sam xox

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Welcome to 2015

I've seen a lot of end of year posts on Facebook recently, as you do every year, but the thing that gets me is that the majority of them are pretty pessimistic. Hey, I get that everyone can have a rough year every now and then - mine have been average at best since I can remember - but 2014 was the first year that I really felt like things were kind of going alright for me. When everyone else, as it would seem, has had such a miserable year, how do I say that things have actually been pretty good for once without seeming like an a**hole?

The year started off pretty great, I'll admit. I was travelling again, optimising the office down time in January like I was supposed to and decided to spent it over the New Year back in London. It was a great week, despite the traditional disappointing New Year's Eve (this time spent freezing my extremities off in Charring Cross waiting for the trains with a terrible view of the fireworks). As my second New Year in a row not only in Europe, but with my friend N, it was a far better start to the year than the crappy night suggested and was not up-heaved by the following day or the rest of the week. In fact it was a pretty sweet week in London, filled with musicals and fun, then when the week had ended I simply nipped across the pond to the City of Angels.

I'd been to LA twice before, but there was something so nice and uncomplicated about rocking up in the US with no plan. I had a week at a hostel and a ticket back to Oz a few weeks away but aside from that I was completely free. I met some amazing people and i revelled in the snapshot of freedom, but then I got the email that sort of changed everything.

Sitting at a table in the Hard Rock Cafe on Hollywood boulevard, I used the free wifi to check my inbox and was beaten over the head with a notice of redundancy from work. Whilst I was on the holiday I'd not only been encouraged to take but had paid leave approved for. Tough call. It was a very hard moment, sitting in the restaurant by myself crying into my cocktail, and when I got home there were long minutes spent skyping my parents to explain the situation and receiving a lot of tough love in return. But the next morning even though I didn't have a clue about what I was going to do next I knew it was going to be alright, in fact not only did I know it would be fine I was also kind of glad.

My old job was great. I had less office hours, and I got to go adventuring in the untamed fields of the Pilbara, but it wasn't all roses. Office politics made for a difficult living situation sometimes and by the end it became very much the masses versus the upper management. In a nutshell, combined with changing laws and outside forces alongside the problems within, I was already feeling like I wanted things to end a bit. Plus the outback was cool, but it had never encompassed the goals I'd set for myself in life.

It was tough and kind of a rude wake up call that most definitely left me in the lurch - especially since I already had the return ticket to Oz - but guess what? It was sort of the kick in the pants that I needed. I was going nowhere fast continuing the way that I was, I didn't have a plan anymore and time was rolling along without me.

I spent the rest of the month kicking about in the US before splashing out in Disneyland and coming home, then immediately booked myself to leave again. I shopped around for work, I did some things around the house and I just floated, but when I say my heart wasn't really in it I'm not joking. It took me longer to figure out how to reconstruct my life, but I knew how I wanted the year to pan out and that was by taking all my savings and travelling until I literally couldn't any more without help. I did do some constructive things in that time though like crashing a course at my old university and brushing up on my Greek Mythology, writing, and having a very well worth it LOTR marathon. I did plenty of other stuff too like volunteering and working back at the coffee shop, but when I was trying to desperately pinch every penny it was a little hard to use money for much else.

It took 3 months and finally the day came to wave my house goodbye. It felt like an eternity before it came, but when it did I was so eager to pack up my bags again and run to the airport with my new journal that if it had been a film I'm sure I'd have made some comic fail. Which when I think back to how I'd spent the night before trying to fix my phone after iOS updates decided to make it explode and still ended up having to manual reload I suppose there was.

For almost 5 months I wandered around Europe, Morocco, and South East Asia. I wrote all about my adventures already so all I can really say here is how completely wonderful the whole thing was. It was far from perfect and not everything went according to plan, but I virtually got to pick it back up and spend the better part of the year doing exactly what I wanted the way I wanted. I saw so much I never had before, meet more amazing people and achieved some goals I'd been placing along the way. Who could fault that even if I struggled some days, missed some trains, got upset sometimes, and hulked out my biceps a little with my heavy case (I don't do backpacks). For better and worse this adventure is going to stay with me like the tattoo I got to commemorate the way the adventure made me feel.

So, 2014? Regardless of whether or not the past few weeks having been a little up and down, I refuse to remember this year for the bad when it has been so monumental to my life and personality. My 2014 will always have a very special place, especially after 2011, 2012 and parts of 2013...

But the adventure wasn't even the end of it. I walked straight into a job when I got home that I actually like and get to refer to myself as Agent Sam, which I didn't think was a possibility after I had to give up on my dreams of joining MI6. I was totally capable as a dual citizen, but I'd have had to give up my Australian side and that might've been too big a decision for me.

This year has been a whirlwind and it really has gone so fast. I started off quite different to the way that I ended and no matter how I can feel sometimes I regret nothing. 2014 was a good year for me. I'm sorry if it wasn't for you, and I wish you the best this year, but I needed what came to me in my 24th. I can only hope, with a terribly cliched sentiment, that 2015 does not erase the good that has been done.

I don't have any set resolutions or goals like I usually do, but I just hope that I stay happy. I hope you can keep it or find it if you need it.

Happy New Year, and welcome to 2015.

Cupid, you keep staying away. Dionysus, you come with me but bring your mate Artemis along for the ride.

Sam xox