Why 20 is not the new 30 ….

14 May



Body Image Bondage

13 Dec


As a female, the pressures to aspire to “beauty” are constant and abundant. Being born, raised and socialised in the west can amount to unspeakable horrors linked to poor self esteem, promoted by the unrelenting attention to “beauty” paid by our society. Not merely is it a spray tan here and a lash extension there, but woman can become crippled by a circus of the mind, where body dysmorphia, eating disorders and jealousy plague them tirelessly.

There are countless women in our midst being tortured in secrecy by their body image, tied up in a mind game which pays reward to the self-inflicted pain. Starvation, binging, purging, lies. All the violent toys used in body image bondage, where the suffering becomes worthwhile for the fleeting moments of relief and satisfaction they bring, before the game begins again.  

The question is where this bleak and powerful black hole began? Reflecting on the attitudes and values of women in other cultures suggests cracking the whip on perfection and “size zero” doesn’t happen across the global female population – it seems inclined to cast its ugly spell on the women of West. Who to blame? Who devised this poisonous game? It’s clear to me, advertising, media and capitalism are the ringmasters behind this insidious affliction, exploiting the insecurities of women on the highest level, before it trickles down into every crack of society, perpetuating with the dawn of each new generation. 

Here’s hoping 2012 “apocalypse” brings us to awakening as individuals, because the ring masters ain’t going no where…

B x


Would you like still or sparkling water?

30 Nov


Since dating an older man in his 30s, I have come to realise the generational gap from 20-something to 30-something is much bigger than a few extra crows feet around the eyes. Our age difference is barely noticeable in terms of our interests, level of immaturity and enthusiasm for a cocktail, but it becomes highly palpable when dining out with friends and being asked – “Would you like sparkling or still water?”

Dining out with my friends (20-somethings) goes a little something like this –

  • Never order bottled water – tap water only
  • Always dine at BYO restaurants
  • If unable to dine at BYO restaurants, scan the wine list ignore the type of wine, its region or even colour and find  bottle with lowest number next to the $
  • Never order or an entree, only dine at places with hugely portioned main meals
  • Do not split bill, only pay for what you ordered, usually with loose change from bottom of hand bag.

Dining out with his friends (30-somethings) goes a little like this:

  • Bottled water, of course
  • A round of bubbles or cocktails to kick off the meal
  • A well thought out wine order matching the lavish 3-course meal to follow
  • Meals must be accompanied by several sides, don’t feel need to to finish them
  • Always split the bill equally, usually with credit cards coloured either silver, gold or dark grey.

Although these cashed up creatures we call the 30-somethings are only a hop, skip and quarter life crisis away from us spring chickens, they seem to be able to afford to have their cake and eat it too, washing it all down with their sparkling water… Pricks!

H x

So, where do you see yourself in 5 years?

11 Nov

Since moving cities recently to change my life/perspective/career/living situation/relationship/lifestyle and so on I have been asked the same question a million and thirty thousand times…… “So, have you found a job yet?”

I shudder just thinking about it.

My answer – “NO! Piss off and leave me alone! I am sick of all the pressure you’re putting on me AHHHH!” – Then I run off crying and inhale a bag of Doritos quicker than you can say “CAREER”.

Ok, well that is what happens in my head but my actual, more composed response goes something like this – “No not yet, I am waiting for the right opportunity, I don’t want to settle for anything I don’t really want.”

There is some truth to this answer – I have been offered lots of jobs, in fact all the ones I don’t want and I miss out on the ones that are mildly interesting. I have noticed that jobs seem to fall into two categories – they are either great jobs that pay peanuts or the most boring jobs in the world that would allow me to have money fights in my gold-plated undies.

As results I have now been to more job interviews than dates in my life, which isn’t saying much really. My interview ramblings have been mastered into a fine art of carefully weaved bull-shit and enthusiasm that disguises my genuine disinterest in the shitty organisation I am pretending to want to work for, it is exhausting.

The “pressure” I think people are putting on me is also in my head. No one really gives a flying squirrel how I spend my days; it is just a point of conversation for them because they are too dull to come up with a thought provoking conversation starter like – “do you pee in the shower?”. But, what they don’t know is that they are derailing the carefully orchestrated Career Path Procrastination Strategy I am implementing with great success, until of course I am asked that dreaded question.

Just when I thought there wasn’t a worse question to be asked, I got thrown a career question curve ball that smacked me hard in the face and still has me severely concussed.

A few weeks ago I had an interview with Google… I know you’re probably thinking how does a lost mutt like you get an interview with one of the most innovative and successful companies in the world? Good question, I have no idea. But I did spend hours researching questions they are known to ask and constructing with witty, intelligent and imaginative responses as their interviews are notoriously difficult, nerve-racking and wacky.

I was feeling confident during my first interview, my ability to bull-shit had seemingly won them over them over – I demonstrated enthusiasm, made them laugh and convinced them I wasn’t a complete dead shit (not sure how?). But then, out of no where, I was asked the MOST daunting, difficult and frightening question in the world…. “So, where do you see yourself in 5 years?”


How on Google Earth did I not think to prepare for this question? I spent hours thinking of answers to questions like – “if you were a bread, what type would you be and why?” and coming up with explanations as to why I would be a loaf of olive sour dough and not enough time figuring out what  I want to do  my life…. Woops!

I didn’t think my instinct response “Fucks me!” was going to suffice, so my only other option was an awkward pause, a mighty big gulp and a scratch on the head followed by an explosive bout of verbal diarrhoea that made less sense than ordering a diet coke with a Big Mac Meal. A few days later I was told I had secured a final interview and was one of the two top candidates in the running…. were they crazy?

But, in the end, I didn’t get the job. I was disappointed but also relieved because I would have just been a glorified shit-kicker. Yes, I would be kicking the shit of the smartest people in the world but at the end of the day, everyone’s shit stinks. Would I love to work for company like Google? I think so. Would I love the opportunity to have a job to avoid figuring my life out? Absolutely!

But now it is back to the drawing board. Overall, getting interviewed by Google was a great t was a great experience and will probably be my biggest career achievement (how sad). The most valuable lesson I learnt during those interviews was knowing where I want to go, what I am going to do and how I am going to get there.

So, where do I see myself in 5 years?

Fucks me!


P.s I know that in a time of economic turmoil around the world, I am very fortunate to have these options, but I will continue to complain about my first world problems.

The Early 20’s Minefield.

18 Oct

Yes, yes, I get it. You’re in your final years of uni and despite what your parents, lecturers and employers seem to think, you’re battling though a first-world mine field of opportunity, anxiety, deadlines, bankruptcy and uncertainty. You’re put to the challenge of juggling an ensemble of important commitments and choices, all of which are relevant to your personal and professional development as a young human being.

You endeavor to find that delicate balance between holding down a thankless part time job  (or two) , meeting relentless assignment due dates, committing to countless, seemingly fruitless unpaid internships, maintaining a healthy social life (aka fitting in as many student pub nights as your schedule will permit), as well as finding some time to squeeze in those other things you love in your life, such as fitness, relaxation, dinner with family, chores, weekend getaways, quality time with the girls, or heaven forbid – a boyfriend.

I can proudly say I conquered each of the above with great success, but this isn’t to say there weren’t hours, days, even weeks, when I didn’t collapse into a heap in a fit of frustration, engulfed by an overwhelming sense of defeat, telling myself how no one seems to understand how hard it is being 22! I would wonder when the sparks I was sending off in all directions would come together and finally create a dazzling fireworks show I could be proud of.  And my toxic frustration slowly began to seep into the way I perceived the all good things happening in my life.

Now at 26, with just four eventful years up my sleeve, self-esteem in tact, a stable income, a stimulating full time job, a solid friendship group , a healthy work / life balance (including plenty of down time, exercise, dinners out, bottles of wine and trips to the beach), and I can quite confidently say that without having navigated my way through the minefield of challenges put forth during my misshapen, over-committed, action-packed, uncertain university years, I would not be the capable and level-headed person I am just four years down the track.

Looking back, I still feel it wrong to discredit those “lapping up a booze-fuelled uni life of no commitments or responsibility”. Those years were new, important and tricky. They required dedication, agility, resilience, flexibility and positivity. They lacked the structure of a “nine to five” work week, which (despite sounding mundane) holds direction, job security, routine, income and still leaves time for the good things in life. I think this stable monotony is underestimated for its ability to keep one’s head above water, despite the common woes faced in the average workplace.

So in a shout-out to those blindly feeling their way through their “infant 20’s” – don’t beat yourself up when a ball or two drops and you nearly loose the lot; it was hard, it is hard, it does get easier!


Becoming financially independent (being broke).

16 Oct

Becoming financially independent can be compared to walking down the street with no bra on. At first you feel confident, free and having  fun with your girls hanging out. But once you finish striding down your first block, the discomfort sets in. You begin to miss that support you took for granted for so long and suddenly you’re yearning for a sports bra strong enough to support an Olympic hurdler. You miss it because every crack in the pavement and every step you take sags your breast and your once supple and perky bank account.

You see, the financial independence journey isn’t a cruise down Fifth Avenue, it is an uncoordinated stumble down Reality Street which is lined with ciggie butts and rubbish. To make matters worse the blisters on your feet are getting bigger by the second because you now have to buy your shoes from Pay Less Shoes. Your money is no longer funding you and your girls having fun, all of a sudden you’re paying car insurance, rent and interest on your credit card that your prick of a bank keeps convincing you to increase your limit on… Welcome to hell!

Ok, it isn’t that bad. It does feel liberating to not be indebted to someone, not having to sheepishly ask (grovel) for another $50 and the freedom to go where you want and when you want (after spending months staying at home and saving your arse off). Thankfully, my dad was generous enough to support me through school and uni where I had sporadic jobs to fund clothes and partying, you know, the important things. Back then I thought that was a sign of independence, if I wanted the Sass & Bide jeans, I needed to buy them myself, boy how wrong I was.

Once I got my first ‘real’ job earning a whopping AU$30,000 a year I was thrown into the financial deep end and left to drown with my credit card acting as my life raft. I thought I was killing it with my career woman attitude and steady income, even though  I was earning less than a part time employee at McDonalds. At first the novelty of dad forwarding me the bills for my phone was cute, $79 a month was do-able and I felt a sense of achievement and pride the first time I paid it. Then the big scary bills started to roll in and the novelty wore quicker than my soles of my cheap shoes. Health insurance, car registration, rent, physios, groceries, dental check ups and with petrol prices rising as fast as my desire to go out and party…. I was fucked! Not the good sort of fucked…. The sort of fucked that has you considering a career in stripping.

I still struggle with money as I am not at a point where I can have it all like the TV shows (even the ‘reality’ ones) depict. I am at a point where I can have my cake and eat it, but only a few slices because the rest is on lay-by. The Camilla kaftan I want to buy will replace a social life for two weeks, and I need to sell half my closet on eBay if  to go on that trip to Bali….  Goodbye Camilla Kaftan, and so the cycle continues. But there is no doubt that the first year of being financially independent was the hardest and I learnt many, many lessons – here are a few:

  • Passion Pop isn’t thaaaat bad
  • Budgets are boring but necessary
  • If you get a credit card you sign your soul to the devil
  • Two-for-one Tuesdays are a god sent
  • You will never turn down a home cooked meal again
  • Starting salaries should increase at the same rate as inflation
  • The feeling you get when you find $3.60 in the crux of the couch cushions, I imagine, is similar to when you win the lotto
  • You lose weight while walking because you can’t afford can’t afford petrol, cabs or sometimes even the bus, but then gain it because all you can afford is fast food
  • Your dad is the best sports bar you will ever have.

H x

Friends are like shoes.

11 Oct

I have many theories, none of which are based on any intellect, research or proven theory, merely observation and obscure analogies. I have the Bath Theory – reading a good book is like taking a bath, you avoid getting into it because of the time and effort associated with it, but once you’re in you think “I should do this more often”. Then there is the Quiche Theory – personal trainers are like quiche, 90% of them a shit but the other 10% are amazing, there is no in between.

Now, to my Friends Are Like Shoes Theory. In your 20s when life is busier than the days of  bumming around with your friends all day like we did at uni or high school and our individual friendships are strengthened because three-way phone calls are so 1990s. You begin to realise your friends bring something different to the table and that is why you love them. I think the sooner people realise and celebrate these differences, the happier and less disappointed they will be.

What am I talking about ? Well it can be summed up like this – I wouldn’t wear my studded stilettos to go for a soft sand sprint, firstly because that is completely impractical and secondly, I don’t sprint in soft sand. Let me explain my theory by telling you a story…..

My sensitive soul of a friend called the other day, lets call her Jane. She called me because she was upset because her friend, let’s call her Lucy, showed a lack of empathy or understanding when she was pouring her heart out about her family problems. Sad? Yes. Surprising? No. Lucy is the type of girl who will be too busy looking over your shoulder to find cute boys and counting the calories in her small serving of salad to notice the broken hearted friend in her foreground. Is she the type of girl you want to discuss anything other than boys with? No, absolutely not. Is she the type of girl you want to be with if  you want to go out and pick up boys? Bingo!

There are two issues at play here – Lucy is being an insensitive cow and Jane is setting herself up for disappointment. You need to figure out why you are friends with your friends and celebrate them accordingly. Would any of my friends call me if they want someone to join them for a mani/pedi while discussing the benefits of hydrating eye cream and low calorie diets? No. Why? Because I would have nothing to add to such a conversation, nor would I put any  illegal Vietnamese immigrate though the torture of touching my ugly, ungroomed feet. On the other hand, if my friend wanted to go out for a bowl of nachos and watch gymnastic fails on YouTube, I have a feeling they would call me.

So, my advice –  if you want a crazy night out on the town, call your party animal friend who will stay out on the d-floor with you all night. If you need advice about a boy, perhaps call the friend who has been successful in getting, and most of all keeping guys. If you’re in need of career advice, catch up with the friend who has is climbing the career ladder faster than the rest of your friends. If your dysfunctional family is driving you nuts, contact the friend who understands what you’re going through. If you want to know how many spin classes you need to do to burn off two sushi rolls, call Lucy.

H x

Quarter Life Crisis

10 Aug

Life at 20-something, like any stage of life has its ups and downs. You are no longer dependent on parents but at the same time ‘adults’ don’t take you seriously. You are stuck between between being a naive teenager and a self-assured wo/man. Life as a 20-something is a roller  coaster of fears, failures and a hell of a lot of fun.

I luckily have no real responsibilities – no children, no husband, mortgages or investments I need to worry about. My nipples aren’t looking at the floor (yet) and I have the world at my feet. But that amount of opportunity comes with its fair amount of  pressure – Where is my career going? How can I earn more money? When will I have kids? When will I get married? When can I buy a home? Do I need to invest? Why is my skin getting wrinkles? And with the world at my feet, what the hell do I do with it?

On the eve of my 25th birthday, unemployed and about to make and a move to a new city I thought I would start a blog to help me get myself through (my 4th) quarter life crisis. Wish me luck!

H x