Tag Archives: life advice

How to fall head over heels with your hometown

As I touched on briefly in an earlier post, life threw me a curveball last year and I made the move back from Melbourne to Adelaide.

I think most of us start to feel tired of the city we live in once the magic wears off of it being a new place. I remember the fairy dust vibes of Melbourne when I had first moved there versus the state of normalcy I felt when I left, nearly a decade later. 

Having come back home, I’ve had an opportunity to see what has changed and to revisit places I hadn’t been to in years and years and I realised with each growing day that I was starting to really love my home again.

Here’s how to make your home feel new and magical in your eyes all over again:

Go to the places you enjoyed as a child

While this may be initially quite depressing when you’ve realised that many places are either: a) not as big as you remembered, b) old and worn out or c) not even there anymore, this is probably the most interesting way to rediscover your sense of childlike fun and interesting spots with a new perspective. Find the fairs by the beach, the weekend markets your mum dragged you to as a child on Sunday mornings, the playground where you hung out with your high school boyfriend so you could make out without judgement… whatever. Find the places with emotional significance and remember how you felt. The thing about having a history in certain places is that it ties you to your home irrevocably and gives you somewhere to share these milestones and moments with the people you love.

Visit every tourist spot you possibly can

Do it over several days. Visit each place on a day off or a weekend when you’re bored and ran out of things to watch on Netflix. Looking at museums and galleries and really seeing what your city has to offer is an eye opener. For example, I only realised fairly recently that the art gallery of South Australia has a hieronymous Bosch piece. I had taken the museums and galleries and places I had visited for granted and stopped truly seeing what was there. Becoming a tourist again is an important way to find the heart and soul of your home. Visit both the natural landmarks and the man made ones and you’ll be surprised at how much there is to do and see.

Find new watering holes to visit

Aim to try a different cafe, restaurant or bar until you find some that you truly love. The routine of having the same places that you eat or drink or hang out at can be comforting but also monotonous. You may find your new favourite hangout or brunch spot. Yes, I said brunch. You can take the hipster out of Melbourne, but…

Take photos of the places you take for granted 

There’s two reasons for this really. The first is that redevelopment happens constantly and they may no longer exist in the future. The second is that by treating every space as an Instagram worthy affair, you can actually see those places with those rose tinted glasses again. 

For example, I had a mini iPhone photo shoot at both the local botanical gardens and in Chinatown and saw the beauty that I had been missing for years:


It’s important to love your home and feel like you’re proud of and connected to the place you choose to live. Life feels like an exciting adventure when you can find new sources of fun and mystery and beauty. 

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On Girl friendships, the importance of saying “I love you”- how to find your Girl gang.

One thing that really stands out for me in my adult life is the dramatic shift of balance between friendships. Comparing my relationships now to the ones I had in high school is near impossible because they simply don’t resemble each other.  

We as women have society dictate so much to us; how to look, eat, exercise… but mostly, how to judge ourselves and judge others. You don’t have to go far to see headlines on magazines critiquing celebrity relationships or bodies or bitchy memes attacking other girls’ makeup skills or slut shaming them. We call the practice of destroying other women’s self esteem ͞clapping back͟ as though their mere existence is so offensive to us that our condemnation is a response, rather than an attack.  

This brings me to our close female friendships. We’re so reliant on our judgements that we pass on others and ourselves that it effects our interpersonal relationships. How can we truly love ourselves without a village of people who support us and love us too? And how can we love others when we treat our day to day lives and accomplishments as a competitive sport? Life is not a pissing contest.  

You don’t get a prize for how many boxes you tick on social media bingo, but you do feel an immense sense of reward when you find your tribe to come home to after every uphill battle, breakup and every good moment like a pregnancy or a promotion.  LI have been so fortunate that despite my headache of a year in 2016, I’ve had a group of loving and supportive people around me who have continued to help me grow when I was able and to carry my
crosses with me when I was at low points. Here is quick how-to guide for adult friendships:  

1. Do not be friends with people who judge you.

This may seem like common sense, yet this is something many women struggle with. If you
feel like your friends would judge you for your life choices, your appearance or your tastes,  they’re not your friends. You do not need to live your life as a series of confessions, but if you feel like you need to lie or hide facets of yourself which you hold dear, you need to leave
that relationship. Pronto. Its unhealthy. 

2. Say ͚I love you͛. Mean it.

This is something we all need. We all want to feel like we have people around us who love
and accept us and who care about us. Friendship is not a one way street. If you feel like you are being cared for, express it. Show thanks and gratefulness when people help you or show small acts of kindness and consideration.  

3. Show an interest.

I find it easy to make friends and maintain friendships. Often, I’m baffled as to why people who I think are so interesting, intelligent, attractive or talented would want to spend time with me so I actually asked one of my close friends. I was told “you actually stay in touch with me”. We all want to be texted first or invited somewhere, yet none of us want the  awkwardness involved in the act of inviting someone for a coffee or sending them a text.  

Everyone finds it awkward or stressful and fears that they are the person who’s too keen.
You’re probably not. Keeping in contact and showing an interest is so easy, yet makes such a difference.

4. Do not judge others

The things which matter to us in our lives and we discuss with our friends are usually our romantic relationships, careers and families. These are sacred ground and we use our friends
as a sounding board when things aren’t going great or to express excitement. As a result, we
often polarise the image we show others. How many times have you had an argument with
your S/O and vented to your friend only to have the negativity pass and your friend now hates your partner. It’s important to vent about things when they’re bothering you, but likewise remember that your friends do the same. You can offer advice, but it’s never your
place to get involved in other people’s relationships or jobs or to punish them as a result. If
you decide to be horrible to your friend’s partner or boss, you’re sabotaging their lives instead of being supportive. Let them make their decisions and support them through them
and you will be offered the same.  

5. Realise that your different relationships will fill different roles and so will you in their lives.

We all have different friends which we enjoy doing different things with. We have friends
who we enjoy going on a night out with, some which you will binge watch trash tv and talk
with at home, many who fall somewhere in between with, a ride-or-die (or two if you’re  lucky) and the people who you go to for advice as well. You also have a role in which other
people place you. Some people will be happy to hang out at home with you but don’t seem
to invite you out when they’re partying. This doesn’t mean that you’re boring or they don’t
like you, it means that they value your time most when you’re at home and eating pizza and
marathoning stranger things. Some friends enjoy the weird mundane daytime adventures
where you start with a coffee date but somehow, inexplicably end up at Ikea. Some friends
are people who you adore and have known for years, yet somehow only get in touch when
something important happens and will drop everything for each other in a time of crisis. All
of these relationships hold an equal value, but we can’t be everything to everyone and we
cannot expect that same standards from others either. Being free from jealousy makes your
time together happier and your load a little lighter when you’re staring at the ceiling at 3am
after deciding to drink an evening coffee (again).  

6. Remember that you are not in competition.

Not with your friends, not with anyone. Life is not a contest. Do not compare yourself to
your friends because you perceive them as being prettier, more successful, etc. We all have
things we admire in others but it doesn’t somehow mean that you yourself do not possess
admirable traits as well. One person’s beauty or intelligence or talent does not exist at the
absence of yours. Cut out people who make you feel like you’re in competition and resist the
urge to be jealous.

Remember, every good girl gang is based on a foundation of mutual respect and awesomeness.