sundog

January 11, 2009

New Years Resolutions

Filed under: My Life — happychick @ 6.38p01

New Years Resolutions

 

I was thinking today about New Years Resolutions- why people make them, where it all started and, most importantly, what resolutions I would make this year that would help me to become a better person. When I say “a better person”, I don’t mean it in a corny, rose-coloured glasses sort of way- I mean it in a Justin Langer, always-strive-to-be-more-than-you-are kind of way.

Sure enough, the ever-reliable Wikipedia has the answers- “A New Year’s resolution is a commitment that an individual makes to a project or the reforming of a habit, often a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as advantageous.”

I thought that this year I’d think of something a little bit different- I don’t need to lose weight, I haven’t got any debt to free myself of, I don’t smoke or drink to excess, and I’m not in a bad relationship that I need to get out of.

So here it is, my revised list of 2009 New Years Resolutions:

 

         Look after my teeth. It sounds a little unusual, but what, I ask you, is more attractive than a clean, toothy smile? I’d like to keep my teeth for as long as possible and avoid falsies, and if that means flossing and drinking less Fanta then it’s the least I can do, right?

         Volunteer. There’s a Soup Patrol run in the city, where soup and bread is given to the disadvantaged. I’ve done it once before and found it really very rewarding. Giving back to our society should be in the forefront of everyone’s minds.

         Be more environmentally friendly. That’s not to say I’m going to boycott lightglobes and walk the ten kilometres to University, but it doesn’t take much to turn off the aircon of read a book rather than watch the TV.

 

That’s it, really. I’m not going to make goals that aren’t plausible- there’s no better self-esteem killer than setting goals you never reach. Things are going pretty well and I don’t need to make any lifestyle changes that are “generally interpreted as advantageous”. I do have one rhetorical question, though- have you ever been afraid that things have to get worse, because they can’t possibly get any better? X x

 

P.S. Nitaro- thankyou for your comment. It means more to me than you will ever know.

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January 10, 2009

Oh, she’s only 17

Filed under: My Life — happychick @ 6.38p01

The Followill brothers of Kings of Leon had it right. I’m officially over being underage and can’t say the word “seventeen” without distaste.

It all started with the Irishman. Now, my love affair with the Irish- the land, the people, the accent, really only came to prominence over the past year, whilst studying the poetry of Seamus Heaney (arguably the greatest Irish poet who ever lived). It was like when you hear a term or a phrase for the first time, and suddenly you’re noticing it everywhere. I watched the movie P.S. I Love You with great delight, had extensive talks with the Irish priest at my school, and started meeting Irish people everywhere. It’s uncanny, and it’s the sort of occurrence that makes me believe a little in the paranormal.

So the town my parents live in now is home to a whole heap of immigrants, working in the harsh Australian climate for residency and very good money.

A lot of these immigrants are Irish.

The Irish accent is a lot to me like heaven. For anyone who’s seen the crackpot British comedy Black Books (starring Dylan Moran, who is, coincidentally, Irish), I react to the Irish accent much in the same way Fran Katzenjammer reacts to the voice of her old university acquaintance- it can “melt me at 20 paces”.

To put it crudely, if you’re Irish, I’m yours.

So, the encounter with the Irishman (don’t lie, you’re dying to know). Let me put it to you in detail, a kind of Happychick Mills and Boon style thing. I work the self serve at the local supermarket, right? The Irishman comes along, good looking enough to make you look twice but not enough to make you drop your underwear, I start up a conversation (I get paid to, ok??). We talk about Ireland (what else?), and that I’m going to University in March. The Irishman, in his Irish-accent makes-me-drool kind of way makes an offhand comment about March being “far enough away”. He asks me if, in Uni, I’m going to take lots of drugs (is that what they do in Ireland?), and, laughingly, with what I think was a flirty but was probably just creepy hair-flick, tell him of course, “and I’ll have lots of orgies too”. Hahaha Happychick you’re so funny- and lame. Surprisingly, he still thought I was kinda cool (or maybe he was just horny). He asks me, so close I can smell his Irish cologne, when I’m going to go for a drink with him.

I can only think of three things;

1). How hot the irish accent makes me

2). The Kings of Leon song, “17”

3). How, if any Australian/English/American/Egyptian guy with teeth as crooked as his had hit on me, I’d be gone like a bullet

 

And I say, with another creepy hair-flick (I should really pin that fringe), “I’m a bit young”. It was like saying “I’m actually a man and have three kids”. Very awkward. He did this weird thing where he cocked his head to one side and asked me if I was 17. I nodded with a grimace. He recovered, asked for my number anyway (still horny? I think so.), and I dismissed him with “Maybe next time”. He laughed, did that cute irish thing with the nose wrinkle and said “Yeah, maybe next year”.

 

And that was that. I decided then and there to make a count-down calender until the day I can accept offers from guys (preferably Irish ones) for a drink, until the day I will no longer receive the grimace and apologetic step backwards that accompanies the phrase “underage”. Guys are scared of that, and I get it- to them, I’m still a child. A child they want to have sex with, but a child all the same. And no guy is that horny. (Take that back- a lot of guys are.)

 

I recognise that this is becoming a very long post but I’m still only halfway through my story.

 

The same sort of thing happened in the lunchroom at work today with Sam, the guy that works in the liquor store next door. I told him I couldn’t wait until my brithday, that I was going to have a huge party and it was going to be absolutely legendary. He said, “20 or 21?”. I, being the slow-on-the-uptake bimbo individual I am, cocked my head with what I can imagine was a really stupid expression. The woman across from me snorted her chicken back into her salad. “She’s only 17”- Gah! Very awkward. Sam gave me a stunned look, as though he’d been slapped with a dildo. I just laughed it off and went back to work.

 

In the end, being 17 SUCKS. I love being young and having all these years ahead of me, but let’s face it- I can’t drive, can’t buy my own booze, can’t go out to pubs or clubs- my age is like leprocy. I know I’m overreacting- I’ll be the first to admit it. But I’m OVER IT. I want an Irishman, dammit! X x x

 

P.S. As a footnote, whatever this thing is between me and Sam is a bit weird and confusing, and I’m not really sure how to handle it. Maybe I’m really lonely, lusting for a boyfriend, not just a guy. He’s nice, really nice, kind and funny and a bit of a goofball. He’s the sort of guy my parents would make fun of for being uncool, but would ultimately approve of because they wouldn’t think he’d make a move. Maybe I just go for the nerds, the “losers” (God knows my dating history shows that). Maybe he’s just the sort of guy I’d really really like to be good mates with. Who knows? Certainly not me.

January 2, 2009

TEE

Filed under: My Life — happychick @ 6.38p01

Sitting my final school exams was more stressful than almost anything that has ever happened to me. For more than a year the inescapable reality of having to sit the TEE loomed over my head, forever getting closer. Looking back now, I can still feel the tightening in my stomach that accompanied any talk of the TEE (Tertiary Entrance Exams). I was absolutely terrified. And for as much as I knew I wasn’t alone, that was little consolation. I felt alone. I felt underprepared. I had all these grand plans to start studying early so that cramming wouldn’t be necessary in the weeks prior to the exams. Grand plans which got lost amongst the endless homework, assignments and tasks that had to be completed before I even thought about studying for TEE.

 

I remember walking out of my final exam with mixed emotions. I was relieved, of course- I wouldn’t have to sit another exam until University, and that was a whole four months away. I was sad, too- this would be the last time I’d be standing out the front of my school as a student. Effectively, I was free, but also nostalgic for the days when you knew that, whatever else happened, tomorrow there would be school. I was also a little bit angry, for reasons I couldn’t, at the time, come to grips with. I was angry because, in my heart, I knew it hadn’t been worth it. I knew that I’d spent the past two years of my life slogging it out for those 6 exams- so I could get a good TER, so I could go to University and pursue my dream of becoming a journalist. I’d known all along that this was my one chance of making something of my life that so many people I knew missed out on. But leaving that exam I was kicking myself, knowing that I’d worked myself up for something that in the end, meant absolutely squat. Whatever TER I got, it didn’t define me, it didn’t tell anyone anything about me.

 

My TER was 96.75. That’s a fairly decent score, and one I deserved. My parents were thrilled, my friends were jealous, the guy who conducted my job interview yesterday was stunned because he’d initially thought I was a bimbo. My teacher emailed me, “very proud” of my “splendid results”. But I didn’t care as much as I think I should have. I should have been proud- and I was, to some extent. I should have felt victorious- I’d spent most of the past 12 months gearing myself up to beat the other girls in my graduating class, but once I did, I didn’t really feel superior. I did feel grateful though. Grateful to myself for having achieved something that no one really thought I could. I was grateful to my Dad, because every time I would feel stuck or alone or overwhelmed I would look up at him or visit his grave and tell myself that I had to achieve for his sake. And I was grateful to the Universe, or God, or whomever it is who pulls the strings on this earth- grateful that I now had a pathway I could follow, grateful that hard work and determination actually did pay off sometimes, and grateful that I didn’t care enough about my TER score to make it my whole world, to let it define me and tell me who I was in relation to those around me. I was proud of my TER but I can’t wait to be rid of it when I begin University.

December 26, 2008

Post-Christmas Rant

Filed under: My Life — happychick @ 6.38p12

We went for a bit of a country drive today, missing most of the Boxing Day Test (not that it mattered anyway, Roy got out for only 27! Not to mention Matty Hayden’s continued run of bad form, looks like there’s a retirement on the horizon).

I tested out my new bikini that I got from the olds at Christmas- I also got McGrath’s book, a signed copy of Adam Gilchrist’s “True Colours” (omfg I met him I met him!), some cash and not to mention a two week tour of England.

I’m still in shock, really, that it’s all said and done with. After graduation, I didn’t really stop- studying for exams, Leavers, England, Christmas… it’s only now that I can sit back and think “Shit, you’ve done it- it’s over”. It’s only now I can start to figure out what I’m going to be doing with the rest of my life.

I mean, most of it has been established already- I’ve got a house, a car and I’m weeks away from owning my first dog. I’m well on the way to finally getting my license, I’m fairly certain I’ve been accepted into University, I’ve basically secured a job for the next couple of months to get some cash in my wallet before going back to studying…

But it’s still a shock, this freedom. I’ve pretty much just been getting drunk for the past few nights and sleeping in, I haven’t returned anyone’s calls and I haven’t shaved my legs- and at the moment, strangely, I really don’t have to.

Less importantly, there’s this really cute guy who works at the gaming store down the road who offers a bit of distraction from the monotony of my parent’s antics and may serve to occupy my time over the next few months… And that georgeous new guy at my Mum’s work who thinks I’m a complete lunatic after an embarassing encounter the other day…

But yes, in hindsight, it’s time for a bit of structure. Freedom is great but I really feel like I’ve just pissed the last two weeks of my life up the wall- I need to be doing something constructive with my life. Hope you had a fantastic Christmas, tell me about your gifts! x x

December 24, 2008

Final Exams Score

Filed under: My Life — happychick @ 6.38p12

If I have ONE more person ask me how I scored on my final exams, it’s likely that I will actually explode.

I don’t know what I got. I’ve lost my password. Can we all just accept it and move on?

The only reason you’re all messaging me with “How did you go? I got 86/97/73” is because you’re terrified I may have done better than you, and in most case, it’s likely that I have.

So piss off and leave me alone until my scores come in the mail next week, at which point I will gladly message you to gloat.

Merry Christmas!

December 1, 2008

Leavers

Filed under: My Life — happychick @ 6.38p12

In Australia, we have an annual school leavers celebratory week, known as “Schoolies” or “Leavers”. As a bit of background information, it’s a week in which Year 12 highschool graduates celebrate not only the end of their schooling and newfound freedom, but Australia’s 200 year old tradition of drinking to excess, and, more concerningly, the drug culture that is emerging within our society. It’s a week of booze and sex, drugs, loud music and partying, a week which parents, police and business owners dread, a week from which I returned this morning.

There was booze, loud music and partying, there were boys but no sex (and if I had planned any such sexpedition, my period quickly put an end to that), but, when examined in light of the damning news reports and controversy surrounding Leavers Week, we were pretty tame.

My Stepfather was deadset against it from the word go, condemning Leavers celebrations, and the “toolies” who go on Schoolies in a bid to have sex with young girls. The words “she’ll be going over my dead, stinking, rotting maggotty carcass” spring to mind…

My Mum was, as always, more relaxed in her approach to my life. For several years now I think she’s recognised a part of herself in me- and moreover, I think it terrifies her. She wasn’t a good kid- she was troublesome, dysfunctional and stubborn. I’m seldom any of these things, but when she looks at me Mum sees her own hardheadedness and she’s careful not to suffocate me with rules and restrictions. But for as much as she sees herself in me, she sees a completely different woman as well. I am responsible and mature, sensitive and willing to compromise. She knew I was going to celebrate my freedom- it was just a matter of when and how.

We stayed on the coast- Me, C, Esky and her friend Lees. We spent the days playing cricket, swimming, attempting to kayak, bushbashing, sandboarding and cruising the coastal town for boys. We swam to the island (a great feat for someone so aquaphobic as myself), drank Beam and played cards. We applied sunscreen like it was makeup, drove dangerously close to the cliff-face edges of sand dunes, got sand in orifices we weren’t even aware existed, and chatted up a few guys.

I had a great time and although I got well and truly sick and tired of the company after a week (I guess that’s what happens when a group of tired and hormonal teenage girls spend their every waking and sleeping hour in each others presence), it was an experience to remember and to cherish.

I know of many peers who went on leavers Last week and got absoltely trashed- they were assaulted, embarassed, and a few of the more unlucky contracted STIs and foetuses. They had their noses broken, their beach homes trashed and they came back wondering where it all went wrong.

We’re a new generation. We’re good kids, but not particularly thoughtful ones. We make rash decisions and have deleted the word “moderation” from our vocabularies. We don’t offer excuses, only “take it or leave it, our time has come”. We won’t apologise, perhaps because we can’t. But give it time. A few years and a jail stint or two, and we’ll come into our prime- we’ll do great things, because, when it comes down to it, we work as hard as we party. And Leavers was a testament to that.

November 17, 2008

Freedom

Filed under: My Life — happychick @ 6.38p11

Today I finished highschool. As the examiner said “Stop Work” in my final exam, I left that damp, cold exam room with a smile and a tear in my eye.

When my Mum told me, more than two years ago now, that she was sending me to Boarding school, 1600km away from home, family and my beloved boyfriend, I cried and cried for days. I was horrified, and I could not  for the life of me think why she’d want to do such a thing. I thought that maybe it was karma, for all those times I’d sworn and cursed and acted like a complete moron. But even that, I ruminated, couldn’t be worthy of such an upheaval.

At first I thought it had been a grave mistake- one of the scarce few I’d ever witness my infallible Mother make. I told myself that she was human too- I didn’t want to blame her solely for sending me to what had become my prison. But I had to blame someone. I had to have some direction in which to point my anger. And she bore the full brunt of it.

Today I thanked her. I told her I was grateful for the opportunity to go to a real school and meet real people who were going to go real places. I told her that it had made all the difference. I didn’t tell her, for fear of being sentimental in a way she’d never been, that it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I didn’t tell her that this school, this community, had instilled in me life lessons that I would carry with me forever.

I think about it now and I fear what would’ve become of me had I stayed in that place, which at the time felt so bearable, but when I look back, was turning me into a monster. In honesty, had I stayed, there is a very large chance I would be pregnant, a drug user, or worse- if that were possible. That may sound awful- pessimistic at least, but it is the stark truth and it is a truth I look back on with a shudder.

I’m not sure what to do with my freedom just now. I still have two more sleeps at Boarding before heading off to start my new life living with my brother. The next few months are going to be amazing. My friends and I are heading to the coast for Leavers/ Schoolies Week this weekend, which we are all looking so forward to. Following that, I’m going to meet Adam Gilchrist (!!!), and then my former roomate and I are jetting off to England for a fortnight.

But it doesn’t stop there. I’m going to visit my rents for my last Christmas with the fam, hopefully going to get a job with a friend of mine from school for a couple of months, and then, God willing, it’s off the University for yours truly.

I’ve just realised how much news I have to tell you all, which gives me an excuse to post as often as I can in the coming weeks. But I’ll leave you with this for now. I truly hope you’re all loving your lives just as much as I am loving my new, free one.

November 3, 2008

Sorry!

Filed under: My Life — happychick @ 6.38p11

I make a promise now to fill you in on all the AMAZING news in my life in a matter of two weeks.

This week holds the hell of my final exams, which require every moment of my waking hours to study for. I will be back. Keep checking- don’t rule me out just yet.

x Chick

P.S. Can someone tell me what the heck is going on with our cricket team? (Actually I know but that doesn’t draw away any of the pain of our humiliating series in India at the moment)

September 27, 2008

Acne

Filed under: My Life — happychick @ 6.38p09

If you’ve never had it, it’s hard to imagine the effect acne has on a person.

I’m an extrovert through and through, blessed with more confidence than I know what to do with. But bad skin affected me more than I know how to express. It’s bullshit to say people don’t notice- it’s my face- it’s the first thing anyone sees. It’s what they judge me on.

Having acne made me quieter, it made me moodier. It destroyed my self-confidence. I thought that if I didn’t talk so much people wouldn’t look at me. I didn’t talk to boys. I didn’t go out of my comfort zone. It killed me inside.

When the dermatologist prescribed me Roaccutane, I was apprehensive. Linked to emotional and mental disorders and increasing sun sensitivity, I didn’t want to have to be battling depression whilst battling pre-exam nerves. But I couldn’t keep going the way I was- I hated myself, and I wasn’t going to live like that any longer.

Turns out, that medication was the best thing that has ever happened to me. And I can sit here now and touch my face and know that it’s smooth and clear and touchable. I can smile and flirt and make out with guys without freaking out. I can take photos and not wear makeup. It’s changed my life. This isn’t a Proactiv advert- I’m not doing a plug, I’m just so ecstatic to be the Ash that I used to be- to love myself again.

Just a few facts to finish up with;

– I have 9 exams left to sit before my school career is over.

– I have $28.00 in my bank account, and have resorted to skipping meals to pay rent.

– There are 4 sleeps until my 17th Birthday- which I’ll be spending alone.

– It’s been almost 2 years since I last had as serious relationship, and I’m not lonely at all.

– My Mum is 1600km away and I need her more than ever.

Be safe until I message next. I hope you’re all okay.

August 16, 2008

The kindness of strangers

Filed under: My Life — happychick @ 6.38p08

Sometimes things happen that restore my faith in the people around me, and in a broader sense, humanity.

As in any city, mine has its “dero” areas and its “upper-class” ones, and it was in one of these lower socio-economic suburbs I found myself today. The train-line in this area is particularly rough, and as I stuggled with the auto-teller, I could feel myself growing nervous and becoming instinctively wary of the young man on the bench behind me. The machine guzzled my money without producing a ticket, and the minutes ticked closer to the trains’ arrival.

The young man approached. I clenched my fists as I registered his steel-capped boots and drug-affected complexion. I smiled wanly as he said “Don’t bother with that shit”, and handed me his transport card. I was shocked and humbled, taking it with a thanks and proceeding to catch the newly-arrived train. He asked for nothing, sitting quietly across from me for the trip, which I spent questioning my assumptions and ironically reading the No Sugar, an Aboriginal play about discrimination. At the other end, we reached the city and he and I went in opposite directions, me still clutching his pass.

I’ll never see that boy again. He gave me his pass, which I realised later was no ordinary transport card- it was his 24hour rider, a card given to disadvantaged people to encourage them to get back into work. He’d given me that pass out of selflessness, and I can’t think of how to express how much I appreciate it.

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