63: Eggs and Rabbits

Easter is coming up. I don’t have too many thoughts on this occasion but I do have a few memories I thought I could share. When I was younger my family was quite religious. I was never forced into any particular faith by either of my parents but I was keen to attend church and I found a great deal of comfort in the routine and structure of it. After my parents separated my mother, younger sister and I began attending church every Sunday. This continued until I was in my teens and I began to seriously question my faith. These facts feel important to the stories I am about to recount as Easter is a religious holiday.

For most of my life I was raised to only eat fish on Good Friday. One year my family took a road trip to visit our relatives for Easter. I remember getting a burger for lunch without even realising it was the day we were never permitted to eat red meat. I felt so terrible about it afterward. My conscience told me that I had just committed some kind of sin. I was so scared of going to hell that I prayed for forgiveness for days.

The Good Friday rule of “fish only” has caused some awkward moments. Many of my friends growing up had different beliefs, some had never even heard of our rule and only observed Good Friday as a public holiday. When I was fifteen I spent Good Friday at my first boyfriend’s house. I had to awkwardly request fish for lunch. I felt like such an inconvenience but as we were already going to a local takeaway it wasn’t a big deal. Coincidently that Good Friday was also the day I experienced my first kiss so I suppose my request didn’t make me seem too strange.

The thing I loved the most about Easter was the chocolate eggs. I have always had an extremely sweet tooth. Growing up I loved sweets like most children but chocolate has always been my favourite treat. This made Easter one of my favourite holidays. I suppose if Australia celebrated Halloween like other places in the world then that would have become my favourite holiday. In Australia Halloween is only just beginning to become more popular but many households still dislike trick-or-treaters and will ignore them. Easter is much more mainstream and acceptable here. The supermarkets begin selling chocolate eggs and hot cross buns from New Year’s Day! Easter, much like Christmas, has grown from a religious celebration to be a commercial holiday. As much as I love chocolate it does seem odd to me that a religious occasion is so widely observed by so many people with impartial beliefs.

I’m torn about the ethical ramifications of introducing Easter to my future children. On one hand i know that my husband and I aren’t religious. We both have had a relationship with church in our past. Regardless of our faith or beliefs we are no longer church goers and would not consider ourselves followers of a particular religion. I would describe myself as agnostic. However on the other hand it seems wrong to deprive a child of such a joyful holiday that has changed meaning for so many people and is so widely visible. This moral dilemma is a slippery slope considering that Christmas is also so commonly celebrated regardless of religious belief.

I know we will celebrate both of these occasions with our children. It is not even up for debate in our social sphere. I just can’t help but wonder why that is.

50 Anecdotes To Get To Know Me Better

1) I am an Aquarius, which matters to me because I’m the kind of person who likes to catagorise human behaviour based on personality types.

2) I really liked Star Wars when I was a kid because it was a way to bond with my dad. It was also my first introduction to Sci Fi and I like sci fi a lot.

3) I completely dropped my fascination with Star Wars when I discovered Harry Potter. I became so obsessed with Harry Potter that I had a trunk set up just in case Hogwarts was real.

4) I always wanted to wear glasses growing up but I didn’t need them until I was 14 years old and I didn’t need to wear them all the time until I was about 18.

5) My first celebrity crushes weren’t on popular attractive men of the time but on comedians. When asked about who I found attractive I was embarrassed and said Heath Ledger because I had heard Mum say he had nice shoulders.

6) I have loved South Park since I was 8 years old. I don’t like toilet humour at all but I find political satire and dark humour to be interesting.

7) I would never miss the Simpsons growing up. Another activity I shared with my Dad when he would get home from work. The divorce really deeply affected me because I was a daddy’s girl up to that point. I continued to watch the Simpsons without him.

8) I loved video games growing up, especially ones with role playing aspects. I also loved books where I could pick a path and board games with intensive story lines.

9) I didn’t sleep well as a kid and found that doing rosaries or praying over and over helped. I had a lot of anxiety and channelled it into the routine and basic rules of religion.

10) I was often put in to gifted classes. I was in gifted art classes as a kid and selected for extra curricular opportunities. I was smart but I also had to put a lot of effort in and I did so to get approval from my parents and teachers.

11) I’ve always been clumsy and uncoordinated but I tried to participate in sports and dancing on several occasions growing up.

12) I have been fascinated by medicine, childbirth, and pregnancy since I was 5 years old. I would read anything about pregnancy or babies. I guess you could say I’ve been casually studying as hobby for almost two decades.

13) I used to wish I had an older brother so I didn’t have to go to school alone and so he could defend me when I got picked on. Really I just wanted a close relationship with my sibling and couldn’t imagine ever being close with my younger sister at the time. Sometimes I resented the pressure of being the oldest.

14) When I was around 11 my dad wanted to move to Scotland and he sat me down and asked if I would move with him. I didn’t want to leave mum and he didn’t want to leave without us so he stayed in Australia. My sister would have gone because she was a really young and obsessed with the Loch Ness monster.

15) For a few months when I was growing up we didn’t own a tv. Our washing machine broke really often. And mum forced us to drink Soy milk.

16) I loved scaring my sister when we were little so I would devise different ways to trick her or jump out at her. This got me in trouble a lot.

17) For almost a decade I thought I would never get married or have kids. I was determined to move to the city, be successful and independent. I pictured myself thin and good looking like all the successful women on tv. I wanted to be strong and in charge.

18) Wearing boots makes me feel confident. Especially my steel caps.

19) When I walk backstage I have to stop myself from crying with joy. Every time.

20) My family has a history of not knowing what kind of gifts I wanted. On more than two occasions I was given the same gift from multiple family members for the same birthday.

21) I loved the concept of spies. I had this book from my parents that was a spy guide written for kids. Ever since I’ve really wanted a jacket with pockets hidden inside. My sister later became even more obsessed with forensics and everyone forgot that I was ever interested.

22) I liked anime in my teens. Again everyone forgot about this when my sister started liking it too and got much more invested than I was.

23) I got over my intense fear of fire by lighting incense. My room constantly smelled of incense. Side note: This was also around the time I was obsessed with Daughter by Pearl Jam and would listen to it on repeat in a dark room full of incense like the strangest ten year old ever.

24) When we moved once I left notes in the door stops as a time capsule. I can’t remember what most of them said but I do remember listing the name of the prime minister at the time.

25) There are very few people I still talk to from highschool. I have lost contact with a few people I actually cared about. I think about all them all the time.

26) I love seahorses because they suck at being fish. I also love meerkats because they’re paranoid. Basically any animal that’s just a complete hot mess.

27) I love stationary. Always have, always will. I once spent over $100 in OfficeWorks on sharpies. I miss getting new pens and pencils for school. Fresh notebooks are life.

28) I’ve always wanted long hair but I’ve never been able to grow my hair out enough. Even as a child. I have had a pixie cut or a bob for most of my life.

29) I’ve always felt weirdly connected to Greece and Malta but not Italy. Maybe it’s an ancestry thing but I don’t know.

30) French is my favourite language.

31) Italian food is my favourite kind of food

32) I love good calamari and crave fish all the time but I don’t like prawns or shellfish.

33) I used to get jealous of people who got nose bleeds in class and wished I would get one. Proving once again I was a strange kid.

34) The first time I felt connected to other women as a woman was the time I got my period and bled onto my dress in biology class. Some of the other girls helped me. It triggered a change in my perspective. I argued with other girls a lot in high school but that was the most supportive interaction I had that entire time.

35) The relationships I’ve had with the men in my life: my father, grandfathers, stepdad, uncles, friends, and especially boyfriends… have had the greatest amount of impact on my identity today in both negative and positive ways.

36) I have always been mocked for my strong beliefs… as early as 4 years old I’ve been arguing for equality and peace, and I’ve been laughed at.

37) I’ve always wished I could skate and play several instruments but I’ve failed miserably which is probably why I find those skills so impressive and attractive in others.

38) I hope my descendants will care enough to find me on their family tree the way I’ve found my ancestors. I don’t ever want to be forgotten.

39) I’ve spent my life scared of everything. Even from a really young age. I once wrote a list of my fears and triggers. That list is now about a quarter of what it was and that doesn’t ever get acknowledged.

40) I have a lot of regret about our wedding day but I’m so glad we got married. I just wish the day had worked out as we had planned it.

41) I miss my tree house. My mum built me one as a kid but the real estate made us remove it from the tree of the property we were renting.

42) I love rain and wind. Even though I grew up terrified of storms I have some great memories from my childhood of bunkering down. I was also irrationally scared of tornados for a lot of years.

43) I watched the Wizard of Oz at bible study enough times to become fixated.

44) I thought I hated musicals until I worked on one. I avoided musicals growing up. When mum watched them I would roll my eyes and leave the room. I found them annoying and boring. Watching Grease for the first time changed my mind a little but working on my first show changed everything.

45) I worked hard to become good at communicating because I feel an intense need to be understood. I often feel ignored or misunderstood and therefore judged. My goal is to find people who can understand me without my need to communicate and explain everything all the time.

46) I always wanted to own and run a lolly shop and seriously planned on dropping out of high school to do so.

47) I had a detailed plan of buying a van and travelling up the coast with 3 friends the moment I turned 18. I had the friends and plans when I started high school but when I changed schools those plans went out the window.

48) I always imagined getting married on the beach. Blue and yellow would have been my wedding colours. My actual wedding was on a farm and our colours were navy and silver.

49) My favourite flower growing up were Frangipanis because they’re common near the beach. My teen bedroom was painted blue and yellow and I had frangipani motif curtains. I even put frangipani oil in my hair occasionally. I went on to like yellow roses, which are supposed to represent friendship. Now I love daisies, all my favourite flowers have been common and associated with happiness.

50) When I was scared of vampires as a kid. I later became obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and would carry stakes and crosses around. Mum taught me to learn everything there was to know about the things that scared me in order to get over my fear. I applied this to my fear of dying by beginning to plan my funeral at 7 years old.

61: Tomatoes and Tests with Two Lines.

I wrote the following over a year ago. I have updated the timeline to be current but I have since worked through most of the emotions I am about to discuss. I considered not making this public (it has been published privately for a long time) since I feel like the words are no longer true. However I believe some other person might feel the same as I did a year ago and may find comfort from knowing they are not alone.

It has been almost two years since I last fell pregnant. It has been more than three years since we started trying to get pregnant in the first place. I keep a tally of all the babies we know that have been conceived and born in that time. I also know of multiple miscarriages that multiple women in my life have experienced in that time. I’m not alone. I’m always aware of that.

I had an ultrasound during my second miscarriage. The doctors wanted to check it wasn’t ectopic pregnancy. It was an awful experience. I wish I hadn’t gone through with the ultrasound as the experience was worse than the miscarriage itself. I was uncomfortable and in pain; then I had to get undressed and lay on some towels while I had an internal ultrasound. There wasn’t anything too see. It was too early. My hormones were high, my lining was thick, but it was wasn’t a pregnancy that was meant to progress.

I get worried that none of it was real. I don’t want people to think I had a phantom pregnancy because there wasn’t anything on my ultrasound. My doctor assures me that I was pregnant. It was real.

My logical mindset told me not to cry. I cried silently in the waiting room. A few tears rolled down my cheeks but I didn’t cry loudly. I normally cry loudly. I normally feel every emotion so strongly. In that moment I didn’t feel anything. I knew there was nothing I could do, there was absolutely no way to prevent it, there was no point being upset… in that moment. The next few days I would feel more complex emotions. I expected to feel much more than I did. I was annoyed that I didn’t feel enough. I have known other women who had lost pregnancies and they felt so strongly and we all felt for them. I would stand alongside any woman and support her, but when it was my story, my experience, I was numb.

My dominant feeling throughout the experience, and ever since, is frustration. I’m frustrated that it doesn’t feel real. I’m frustrated that the validity of my pregnancy could be questioned (mostly by myself) by an empty ultrasound. I’m frustrated that I didn’t feel more. I’m frustrated that my mind tells me other people are allowed to feel more than I am. I’m frustrated that after a while of trying to conceive I lost an opportunity to finally achieve my goal. I’m frustrated that I haven’t been able to get pregnant since. I’m frustrated that I can’t control my body or my emotions or my fate. I’m frustrated with not knowing whether or not I will ever have a successful pregnancy. I’m frustrated that I have spent so much time thinking about it and have began doubting myself.

Most of all I’m frustrated that I can’t talk about it because that’s not how the world works. I don’t want to make other people uncomfortable. I don’t want to have to explain all the details. I want to respond honestly when people ask me if we want kids or when we are planning on having them. I want to say things like “when I was pregnant I loved tomatoes” because for a only a few weeks in my life I didn’t hate tomatoes!

I kept all my positive pregnancy tests, discoloured and faded, in a ziplock bag. I did it so I can remind myself it was real. Sometimes I feel like I imagined it but those lines are definitely there. I remind myself that I will have another positive test one day in the future but it always seems like a lie.

60: A quick thought about friendships.

I haven’t written anything in a while. This is disappointing because I had managed to keep up a consistent schedule for over a month but sometimes other things are more important. I have been trying to make new friends and find some meaning in the world. I want to connect with people. This has always been important to me. I find I get too attached to people. I know I’ve said this before but it remains relevant.
I care so deeply about everyone and everything. My husband told me that he admires how much I care but sometimes I care too much. I’m too invested in the happiness of others. Even the people who have treated me poorly. The people who I once connected deeply with but who have moved on.
I wonder sometimes if I will find a friend who cares as deeply for me as I do for everyone else.

I wonder if people understand me or if they humour me as my thoughts wander so much.

I express myself in unique ways. We are all just looking for those who express themselves in the same way or at the very least those who can comprehend us.

59: A Rose By Any Other…

My name is Jessica. 
Jessica was the most popular name for girls in my country the year I was born. I have met dozens of people names Jessica in my lifetime. Throughout primary school I was often in classes with multiple girls who shared my name and even the occasional boy named Jesse. I don’t like to be called Jessica; the name sounds so abrasive to me. Perhaps, like most people, I have come to associate my full name with being scolded. I go by Jess more often than anything else. This almost feels too casual in comparison. My family referred to me as Jessy growing up, always spelt with the letter Y not the more common ‘ie’, I have never been a fan on this moniker as it seems juvenile. 
For a time in my adolescence I wanted to change my name. I considered Kennedy because it seemed much edgier than Jessica. I thought about going by my middle name Kate, which resulted in all my online accounts being labelled as such. My school friends didn’t assign me a nickname unrelated to my real one; unlike my sister, who’s family nickname (Bear) managed to cross the boundaries of her social spheres.
I have grown to dislike Jessica due to its popularity. It has only been in recent years that I have come to accept the name Jess without wishing I could change it. I only came to this conclusion because I am unable to imagine myself going by any other name. I have also become occupied with name origins, meanings, and statistics in that time. I always knew what my name meant but now I have a large portion of my memory cluttered with facts about names. I love finding out the name someone has chosen for their offspring. I delight in discussing how people feel about their names. I follow the popularity of names like some chart the rise and fall of the stock market. Yet I still don’t know what name I would prefer to have. I suppose I will just stick with Jess.

If you have an extremely common name or a very rarely used one I would love to know how you feel about your name so feel free to leave a comment.

58: Things I learned from The Office

I love the dry humour of mockumentaries. A Mighty Wind is in my top 10 favourite movies along with Best in Show, This is Spinal Tap, and Waiting for Guffman. Of course I became addicted to Parks and Recreation and fell in love with The Office. I have always struggled to find people who share my love of the Christopher Guest films in the real world; although I know they have a large fan base out there. Luckily the people around me love these television programs and I have been able to watch The Office with my family. It’s so great to have my references recognised by those around me. 

Here is a brief summary I have compiled of Things I learnt from The Office:
You can cure rabies by hosting a fun run.

If you eat a massive serving of carbonara before going for a 5k run, you will vomit.

True love is noticing what flavour yogurt is their favourite.

Pranking is a perfectly acceptable use of company time and is totally appropriate and not at all bullying.

Pizza by Alfredo is disgusting and suffers in comparison to pizza from alfredo’s pizza cafe.

It doesn’t matter how incompetent you are as long as you’re lovable enough.

Miniature cupcakes are a travesty.

If you ruin Christmas you can fix it with 15 bottles of vodka.

Beet farms don’t make a particularly nice b&b but they do make a nice wedding venue.

Everyone you work with will ruin your wedding so you should probably have a plan B. 

Condos are the ultimate real estate.

Pretzel day is the greatest day of all time. 

If you change your name to avoid confusion with one of your co workers then everyone is going to forget your real name including everyone from your past and anyone unrelated to your work place.

Casual Friday is a disaster.

If you sell refrigerators it’s important to make sure everyone you meet knows about it.

Prison is apparently significantly nicer than working at a paper company.

Messing with an elevator isn’t dangerous but gains you respect.

It’s not at all creepy if your boss takes you to Victoria’s Secret.

I’m still not sure which bear truly is best.

iPods ruin secret Santa.

Battlestar Gallactica is about a guy called Dumbledore Calrissian who needs to return the ring back to Mordor.

Those who can’t farm, farm celery.

57: Reflection

The last 24 hours have been rough. I schedule these posts in advance so by the time you get to read this a week will have passed. I hope that the progression of time will have helped me to move through my difficulties. However, at the moment that I am writing this, I’m still in the midst of an emotional struggle. I’ve had to take a long hard look at my life and evaluate what is and is not working. 

Sometimes I get unhappy and I have to take time to work out if this is due to my depression or an outside factor in my life. This has strained my marriage more than once. I find myself wanting to escape to a time when I was more consistently happy. It’s easier to live in a bubble of nostalgia than to face reality or work on making my future a happy one. I know it’s not healthy but I find myself trying to cling to the past more often than I should. I believe I want to revisit the person I once was but I do so by trying to find the people she once knew. We have all grown and changed and it’s a harsh reality to face. 

It’s strange that my husband will never meet her, the person who I used to be, she seems so real to me. I have become braver as my adolescent insecurities were replaced with more pressing issues. I have become bitter and jaded from the harsh reality of the real world. I may be more confident but my venerability screams out from just below the surface. Adulthood makes things harder. I find myself wanting reassurance that I’m on the right track but such a thing doesn’t exist. A younger version of myself would disagree. I had plans; a vision of the future. I didn’t lose track of my goals but changed my focus instead. The things I wanted then aren’t the things I want now. I can’t help but wonder if I could have been happier if I had stayed on that path. Did my past self know better?

A problem shared is a problem halved but in a world where we are all struggling with our own version of existence can we even help ourselves? If I continue with this rationale that my past self is a separate being from who I have become then can I share my problems with this version of myself? There’s a opinion held by some that those who speak to themselves are crazy. I suppose I’ve always been a little mad. 
I used to pray but I don’t anymore. Though I found the ritual was a helpful way to encourage myself to persevere. Speaking to myself with words of affirmation can be just an constructive. 

I have been accused of living in the past. Of being too nostalgic. It’s a hard pill to swallow because I know it’s true. It’s never comfortable accepting your faults; even when you’re having a conversation with yourself. However I find my life being dictated by those around me or the passing of time and clinging to my past feels like a form of control. 

I can’t ever know for certain where I am going. I won’t know what the future holds until I am living it. I know where I have been. I know who I was. It’s more comfortable to hold on to memories when staring into the unknown. 

56: My Mister

I know that you have been feeling left out after I wrote about my ex-boyfriends recently. You really shouldn’t because I married you and I talk about you far more often. I have been trying to think of what I can say about you. This is a very public setting after all. When I wrote about my exes I didn’t care what other people thought about them. I want to protect you from the scrutiny of others. Yes, I am aware that you don’t care what anyone thinks of you, you tell me that every time I get too self conscious. You have suggested that if we were to separate then I would suddenly become inspired as I was after breaking up with the others. I suppose in many ways that is correct, there is a reason why they say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. It could also be said that after a break up we experience clarity and can better assess what we liked and disliked about the other person. I live with you. I have done so since May 2014. We are married. I see you almost every day, with the exception of the time we spend visiting our families away from one another. 

I suppose I could imagine the things I would miss about you if you were to leave. I know I would miss your enthusiasm for new technology and the way you can discuss the details in length even though you know I have no idea what you’re saying. It is satisfying to see that you love what you do and as your wife that makes me proud. 

I would miss watching you interact with our pets, the affection you give towards your ferret or how you talk to the cats as though they understand you. I also love to watch you interact with children, the patience you afford them is nothing like the way you interact with any adults. You engage with them in a playful manner that makes me smile and assures me you will be a good father. 

I would miss your strange interests that you pursue on a whim, like that day you spent hours researching how to make your own mozzarella or the week you converted all our empty jars into terrariums. It’s adorable and random but it’s a part of why we understand one another. 

I would miss the way you discuss my university assignments with me. The subjects I am doing are no where near your wheel house yet you try your best to ask questions and comprehend my work. 

I would miss seeing the progress you have made. When we met you weren’t a very social person, your confidence was low and you didn’t get out much. Now people are always approaching me to say how much you have changed, you connect with people more, you make eye contact when you barely ever did before, you go out and meet new people, you have even started your own business. I know people try to credit me for pushing you but it’s you who has been making the effort and overcoming your fears. You make me proud and it is worth all the arguments we had while I was trying to break you out of your shell.

I would miss watching Netflix with you before bed. I don’t love that you always steal my pillow or that you always turn the brightness up far too much, but it is our routine and I miss it whenever you’re not here.

I would miss the way you always act like you don’t know what something tastes like just so you can steal a bite. We both know you know what ice cream tastes like, we both know you like it, but I always give it anyway so you can take a bite and pretend it’s the first time. I would miss how much you love certain foods, you get so passionate about the things you like, it’s cute and it’s infectious. 

I would miss having someone to eat my pickle at fast food restaurants. I always remove it from my burger and give it to you. It feels like such a waste now if you’re not there and I have to just throw it away. We joked when we first started dating that true love is finding someone who will eat the pickle from your cheeseburger.

I would miss you bringing me peanut m&ms. Clearly you remember that I bought some for myself three years ago because now they’re the treat you go to when you want to surprise me even though we both know they’re not my favourite, you know they’re a safe option and that’s good enough. It’s practically our tradition now and that makes me like them even more.

I would miss the way you try to calm me down by changing the subject. Whether I’m angry, sad, or anxious, you manage to distract me in a way that doesn’t make me feel like my feelings are being dismissed. I don’t know how you do it, you’re sneaky, I love you for it. The best bit is that we always double back once I’ve calmed down so I don’t feel like nothing got resolved or that my feelings don’t matter to you.

I would miss having you around. We have shared this house for three years, which is longer than I lived here alone. You get on my nerves, we argue, we irritate each other, but we still care about one another. We can both me ridiculously stubborn and value our independence but at the end of day we love each other. 

There are so many more things I could say but I will leave it there. I hope you’re satisfied. I hope this didn’t bore the heck out of all my readers who aren’t my husband. 

55: Why I don’t like goats.

I want to start off with a disclaimer; if any of my old housemates happen to stumble upon this, rest assured that living with you was great as I got some fun stories out of the experience. These were great people but the situation itself was very strange to me and I just wanted to share my experience.

I once lived in a share house with three other people. This isn’t uncommon when you’re young and trying to pay the bills. We were all performing arts students in some capacity. I had completed my course the year before but I found myself in this living situation because of who I was dating at the time. I usually prefer to live alone or sharing my space with only my partner. My boyfriend at the time was much more inclined to share with his friends therefore the house was already established when I moved in. I had been friends with this guy for about a year and when the friendship evolved I found myself living at his house. The house he shared with two other women and occasionally some others. 
There were two large bedrooms, two living spaces, one bathroom, a kitchen and dining area, and a small bedroom/office area. My then boyfriend was living in one of the rooms while the other bedroom was empty. The smallest room was full of random furniture and the person who had once occupied it had recently moved out. This is when things get interesting. As I mentioned earlier, there were three people living in this household yet two of the bedrooms were vacant. 

You might be wondering where the two women were staying? The two women had annexed off the living room by nailing blankets to the ceiling and the polished wood floor! The living room furniture was squashed in to a small living space at the back of the house while the main, much larger, living space was being used as a makeshift bedroom. This seemed ridiculous to me but I tried to bite my tongue. These people had been living in this arrangement before I came along so it wasn’t up to me to interfere. Not long after I began staying in the house one of the women moved in to the empty bedroom while one remained in the living room. 

This was a strange environment to suddenly enter in to. I didn’t know these people. The woman who continued sleeping in the living room would write on the walls and skate in the house. She had lived in a lot of squats in Melbourne and was always full of interesting stories, such as her previous living arrangement where all the household were using the same towel. I always made sure to keep track of my towel after that story. There was also always a puzzlingly large number of toothbrushes in the bathroom which prompted me to keep mine separated.
The other woman was vegan and had encouraged a mutual friend to eat vegan food most of the time also. One day both the housemates were away in the city and this friend of ours came over with a great deal of raw salmon they had purchased from the deli and ate it all ravenously, presumably taking advantage of the break in their vegan diet, I found this extremely amusing. For a group of people living on a vegan diet, a suspicious amount of our non-vegan food would go missing. There were two fridges in this house but no obvious organisation. It was extremely confusing for any outsider.
The house was a private rental, which meant that the owner had left some furniture on the property… Including two pets! One had died before I moved in but the large fish tank remained as a sad reminder. The other was a bright blue yabbie, who lost a claw after my cats moved into the house with me, we quickly returned him to his owner before any more harm could befall him. There were also four couches and an outdoor dining set left for us to use. (It always seemed to me that four couches was a tad excessive.) The pet situation escalated when the vegan housemate came home one day with a baby goat. They expected to let this goat live in the backyard, however, our backyard did not have any lawn for the goat to chew on. The yard was all rocky pebbles, which meant that the young goat would often resort to climbing on the outdoor furniture which belonged to the owner of the house. As the goat got older we began to worry that it might accidentally damage the furniture so I would have to go out and scold the animal. This didn’t work for very long as the goat learned to ram me in response. With shins covered in bruises my boyfriend and I were well and truly sick of this goat. The goat’s human mother was feeding it soy milk and leaving audio books playing for it while she was at work yet somehow this wasn’t stimulating enough for a growing billy. 
Eventually the end of the teaching year came along and both of the women moved out to return to Melbourne (the goat moving out along with them). I couldn’t wait to carefully tear down those blankets and reclaim our living room. We lived in the house for a year after everyone else had moved out. It was nice to spread out and use all the other rooms for their intended purposes.
I wrote a short story in high school about a group of friends who all share the house. In the story I had the main character buy an old motel and all of her friends moved in to the various rooms and made them their own. As a teenager the idea of all of my friends living with me in one huge house seemed like such an appealing idea. In reality my share house experience was very different. After my previous experience I can’t think of one friend with which I would willingly share a house. No offence to any of my friends out there, however, I enjoy the control and privacy I have in my own home. 

I do live with my husband and clearly I love him. Living together means we have so many opportunities to spend time with one another but we are adults with our own interests and therefore we find ourselves speeding our free time very independently. We are very introverted in the way we live and that’s the way I like it. We may go out and socialise but when we get home we unwind in our own space. The best part of my current living situation is the control I have over my own space and there’s not a single goat!!

54: A Glass Half Empty

I often get criticism for being too pessimistic. This really bothers me. I believe my anxiety caused me to become so pessimistic. I feel that if I prepare myself for the negative scenario I will be less disappointed. I’ve lived like this for years. Sure, I can see how this is a sad way to live my life, however, I find myself pleasantly surprised. When things go right I am happy, when things go wrong I can sigh and tell myself I expected it. 

I think of myself as unlucky. Not unlucky in a life and death kind of a way. Unlucky in the kind of way where I run in to things and trip over things more often than some. I never win raffles and if someone at the table is going to find hair in their food then it’s probably going to be me. My car will inevitably get a flat at the most inconvenient time and then it will start raining. The one time I got the courage to perform on stage in a play instead of behind the scenes; I got bronchitis! Things seem to break a lot when I’m around. My wedding day seemed to be one thing after another. I always seem to get lost. I’m just mildly unlucky.

Apparently saying that I’m unlucky out loud to other people makes me a pessimist. I feel like I’ve just learned to accept that sometimes things don’t go the way I want them to. Whenever I get sick I don’t expect to get better right away, this is because multiple times in the past I’ve struggled to shake a cold and then found out it was actually a chest infection. More often than not, I don’t just get over my sickness with some OJ and bed rest. I suppose I should have more hope in these situations. Maybe that’s the difference between an optimist and a pessimist? 

I don’t mean to be so negative. Maybe it’s all just a coping mechanism? I don’t do it to bring down the people around me. My outlook isn’t as cheerful as others but does that make me a bad person? I’ve tried to be more positive in the past but it just feels fake. I struggle not to make it seem like I’m lying to myself. I don’t want to be the lady with the bad attitude. I accept good things when they happen but I don’t trust myself to hold on to hope for too long. I want to. I try to. Is that all part of being depressed? 

I was told that it’s all about my attitude. I need to just decide to be happy. That if I think good things will happen then they will. Life is what you make it. I struggle with this concept because so much is out of our control in this world. A good spirit doesn’t always make things better. Hoping things will run smoothly doesn’t make it so. 
I will admit that it might make situations easier to handle if you believe that there is good in everything. I look around this world and I see so many examples that just seem so unfair and unjust. I wish it was as easy as a smile. I wish good things always happened to people with a positive attitude but that’s not always true. I also don’t think that when bad things happen to people who are all out of hope that it’s their fault for not seeing the silver lining. I will try harder to be positive for the people around me. I suppose at least I can make the people around me feel happy and hopeful and that in itself will be good.