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.