11 TIPS FOR DRESSING STYLISHLY

  1. I only wear makeup on the weekends, however I have a rule I always stick to. If you are doing a smoky eye, a nude lip is a must, and if you are wearing lipstick, keep your eyes light. The best day time makeup is an even base, mascara, bronzer and lip gloss.
  2. When it comes to dressing, you need to pick a team. If you are doing tight pants, you need to pair it with a loose top. Showing off your cleavage? Cover up your legs. Leave something to the imagination.
  3. My favourite looks are ones which are somewhat timeless. Skinny jeans and a leather jacket, maxi-dress and a blazer. These are my basics and I accessorize from here. My signature look is skinny leg jeans, t-shirt, fur vest, and ankle boots.
  4. Although I am a sucker for prints, my wardrobe predominantly consists of black, white, beige and grey. I will mix it up every now and again with a pop of colour, but I generally save this for my accessorizing.
  5. Accessorize with the following – Fur vests / collars, hats, printed scarves (leopard print never goes out of fashion, and I consider it a neutral), cuffs, and band t-shirts.
  6. I own very little shoes for someone with a shopping addiction. My top tips for shoes are a black pump in suede, patent, and leather, a nude patent pump, a beige suede pump, a textured snakeskin print pump – (all four of these in either a peep-toe or closed toe) grey or black ankle boots, a neutral coloured wedge bootie, and a dressy sandal / flat. I am also currently a sucker for the wedge hi-top sneakers that have been around for a while. I live in these right now, and they go with everything.
  7. Even though I am quite quirky with the way that I dress at times, I am very classic when it comes to other things. I almost always wear just small stud earrings, and always wear black nail polish, with the exception of red if I’m feeling festive. I am personally not a fan of the French manicure, and I think it looks ghastly when woman have very long nails, and it’s also a little unhygienic when you think of it. Keep your nails short and square, and always paint your nails, and toenails.
  8. Top wardrobe items? A black leather biker jacket, skinny leg jeans (in black, white, grey, marle, red, leopard print, and blue), leather leggings, faux fur vest (in black, white, and natural), scarves in every print and colour imaginable, a black, white, and beige blazer, a black leather pencil shirt, a fedora, and a black maxi-dress. Build on it from here with other items such as jumpsuits, playsuits, shorts (I live in shorts through summer), palazzo leg pants, overalls, printed shirts, and anything with studs is always a winner, as well as anything in lace and leather.
  9. Looks that I personally hate? Kitten heels, anything with crystals or sequins, fake tan, long nails, hair extensions, too large breast implants (it makes you look like a porn star), flats in the evening, short, tight dresses, bright blue anything, wedges with dresses, and too much make up.
  10. When it comes to hair, I have had a very bad habit for the last 20 years of seldom brushing or washing my hair. However I do love having long hair, and I always stick with only a few different looks. Straight, wavy (think Olivia Palermo), and boho (aka beach hair). Every now and again I will rock a top-knot or a ponytail, and when your hair is dirty or you don’t feel like doing it, dry shampoo works wonders, as do hats, and can make an outfit interesting.
  11. Don’t be afraid to try new trends, and only wear what suits you. Develop your own personal sense of style. I definitely have my own sense of style and it’s evident when friends say things to me like “that’s such an Amy outfit”, or “it suits you, but I could never pull it off”. Dress how you like, and what best flatters your figure. How you dress is a way to express yourself.

TOP TEN TIPS FOR TRAVELLING

I travel quite often, and there’s nothing worse than traveling uncomfortably. I am quite a good traveler; however the one flaw I have when it comes to traveling is over packing. I just like to have options. Aside from that, here are my top ten tips for traveling:

1. Wear loose clothing – Long haul flights can be a killer, so it’s important to wear comfortable clothing. I often wear the equivalent of pyjamas. The best outfit to wear as a woman is either leggings and an over-sized t-shirt, or a loose maxi-dress. You can still look like a rock star even in loose clothing. I always wear a strapless bra as well as you can easily unclasp it and remove it without having to go to the bathroom. Also, wearing flip-flops is a must as your feet will generally swell, so you want something that you can easily put on and off. Also, dress in layers. The plane can sometimes get too hot or be very cold. You want to be prepared for any temperature.

2. Don’t wear any makeup, but take some with you in your bag – Nothing worse than clogging up your skin with makeup. Take a small bag with your cosmetics in it. Eye drops (to relieve any redness), a good moisturizer, a concealer, mascara, and lip gloss is best to pack in your bag so you don’t look like crap when you get off the plane. I always put on a little bit of makeup as the plane is making its descent. Also packing some deodorant and perfume in your bag is great to freshen up.

3. Don’t add any salt to your food – Salt causes you to retain fluid, and bloat. The plane trip will do this anyway. You don’t want to add to it.

4. Don’t drink juice – Juice causes gas and bloating.

5. Don’t drink soft drink – Soft drink contains a lot of sodium. Refer to tip #3.

6. Don’t drink alcohol, tea or coffee – Alcohol and caffeine dehydrates you, and the plane trip will also dehydrate you. Avoid at all costs.

7. Stick to water only – And drink lots of it. Your skin and your body will thank you for it.

8. Get up and walk around, and stretch a lot – You have to keep your circulation going. No one wants DVT.

9. Take meals when they are brought to you – This will help regulate your body in avoiding jet lag. I NEVER get jet lag. Never.

10. When you arrive at your destination, to avoid jet lag you need to stay up until at least 8pm before sleeping. No matter how tired you are. If you do this, you will not be jet-lagged.

ARE WE TOO NICE?

I am what you would call a pushover.

I generally almost always crumble under pressure and give in to whatever is asked of me, and if I don’t, I stew on it and feel incredibly guilty for having said no.

I guess this is because of the way I was raised.

The thing I used to hear often as I was growing up was “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. No, is not generally a thing that somebody wants to hear. Although I have gotten slightly better at it in my older age, I still often find myself in situations I’d really rather not have to be in. And when you do say yes all the time, you find you end up getting a little bit bullied in a way.

My high school friends Jade and Julie will remember what they used to do to me in my teenage years (they are both still my friends by the way). Jade used to notify me in the afternoons that the school bus had arrived to take us home. Upon going to get my school bag I discovered I couldn’t lift it as she had filled it up with pavers (our school was only a few years old at the time so there was construction going on the whole time, and subsequently spare pavers laying around). I desperately tried to remove them one by one from my bag whilst pleading with her to ask the bus driver to wait. She got on the bus and waved to me from the window, laughing hysterically at my demise as the bus drove away and i’d have to wait another 30 minutes and catch the bus alone without my friends.

Julie would also be involved. My stop to get off the bus was before hers and as my stop was approaching, she would tell me “bye Amy” with a mischievous twinkle in her eyes before grabbing hold of either my school bag or my legs and holding me on the bus making me miss my stop where i’d have to walk a kilometre back to my house. All because I was a pushover and never able to stick up for myself.

In hindsight it’s a very funny story. However, I think that being told to be polite or not airing our grievances does do ourselves a disservice in the long run.

There is always going to be someone that will take advantage of a sweet and accommodating nature, and that old chestnut of no one being able to make us feel inferior without your consent is undoubtably true.

As women we should be able to speak up for and defend ourselves, and not have to worry about hurting other people’s feelings. If we don’t, it is ultimately us who get hurt in the long run. The people that we are concerned with potentially offending certainly aren’t worried about offending us. And maybe we should take a leaf out of their books. It seems to work exceptionally well for them.

I suppose that’s why I am drawn to, and admire strong women.

Women like Kelly Cutrone and Charlotte Dawson. Both of whom are incredibly strong women who don’t take any nonsense from anybody, and are coincidentally both judges on the American and Australian versions of Next Top Model.

I don’t think there could possibly be a more appropriate choice than these two strong women to mentor and guide young women. But it’s also what it took for both of them to get there to where they are emotionally. Both women have been to their own versions of hell and back and I truly believe that you need to be pushed to your very limit and your spirit completely crushed before you are able to come back fighting strong and able to take on just about anything (or anyone).

On the couple of occasions I have been lucky enough to have met with Kelly Cutrone, the one thing that she pointed out was how sweet I was. And I am a sweetheart. But I also allow people to walk all over me. Not doing myself any favours there.

So am I too nice? Yes, a lot of the time I am. So maybe its time I start becoming a little bit of a bitch, which Kelly Cutrone herself describes as a `Babe in Total Control of Herself.’

I HAVE FANS…

I would make the worst celebrity ever. I spend 90% of the time dressed like a homeless person, or in sweaty gym clothes, and rarely wear makeup through the week. Actually I think I only wear makeup on Saturdays or special occasions. I also never do my hair. You will often see me out and about in hats as a result of my lack of grooming in the hair department. And in the summer time, I almost let it get to the dread-lock stage as I generally swim most days and don’t see any point in washing it.

When I do venture out, I must say I really enjoy dressing up as its kind of a novelty, and I actually have so many clothes I could literally never repeat an outfit again if I really wanted. However if I were a celebrity I would be no doubt photographed exiting vehicles ungracefully and clumsily, as I am a bit of a klutz and am near paralytic off one glass of wine.

So, back to the blog title – I have fans.

Sometimes I think that nobody reads my blogs, however lately as I have been a little less reclusive than usual, I have discovered that I have a decent following.

It’s always nice to hear feedback on what it is that I am writing, even if what I do write in my opinion borders on the mundane at times. However I am a good talker, and an even better story teller and I generally always manage to find some sort of humor in an otherwise humorless situation.

The one comment that I do like is that I have made someone laugh.

The shit that happens to me at times is laughable in hindsight (although at the time, I feel as though my very world is crumbling around me) and I seem to be forever afflicted with first world problems – but aren’t we all?

Like now. I’m sitting in my office writing this.

Ordinarily I write from my dining room, and sometimes I write from my phone in bed and email it to myself. Insomnia will do that to you. Keep your mind constantly ticking over. Lately I’ve been considering sedating myself to try to remedy this. Regardless of that, I find I write better from my dining room. I don’t know why. But I cannot write from there for the moment as I have the entire contents of my kitchen cupboards spread throughout the entire dining room as I think I’m some sort of home renovation expert right now, which pains me terribly as those of you who know me personally, know that I am a little like the husband from “Sleeping With The Enemy” – where everything has to live in its place, and be immaculately clean at all times. Yes, I have OCD. But it has its positives – my home is ridiculously clean. You could literally eat out of my toilet bowls.

So anyway, I’m sitting here in my office, and I have a statue of Ganesh next to me. Ganesh is the remover of obstacles. And he is EVERYWHERE I go. Literally everywhere. I see him all over the world in places one might not expect. I even found him behind a bar in Mexico, which is quite bizarre as I don’t imagine there are any Hindus there. Oh, and I take pictures of him wherever I see him as I can’t help but see it as an omen whenever he appears. What that omen means though I have no idea. If you follow me on Instagram you can see a bunch of them there.

I am not Hindu. I am not anything. But I like what Ganesh represents. Not only is he the remover of obstacles, his appearance is symbolic of how we should all live our own lives:

“Ganesha’s head symbolizes the Atman or the soul, which is the ultimate supreme reality of human existence, and his human body signifies Maya or the earthly existence of human beings. The elephant head denotes wisdom and its trunk represents Om, the sound symbol of cosmic reality. In his upper right hand Ganesha holds a goad, which helps him propel mankind forward on the eternal path and remove obstacles from the way. The noose in Ganesha’s left hand is a gentle implement to capture all difficulties.

The broken tusk that Ganesha holds like a pen in his lower right hand is a symbol of sacrifice, which he broke for writing the Mahabharata. The rosary in his other hand suggests that the pursuit of knowledge should be continuous. The laddoo (sweet) he holds in his trunk indicates that one must discover the sweetness of the Atman. His fan-like ears convey that he is all ears to our petition. The snake that runs round his waist represents energy in all forms. And he is humble enough to ride the lowest of creatures, a mouse.”

I was raised a Catholic, but I deem myself spiritual, and I am my own God. That saying of “God resides in you, as you” by Eckhart Tolle is what I believe. I am the master (or mistress – although I prefer master seeing as though I have assumed the role of a male lately) of my domain.

Back to Ganesh on the desk (don’t you hate these tangents that I go off on? I exhaust myself…) – Ganesh’s arm has fallen off. I don’t know why or how this has happened but it has. He looks so pathetic sitting there with his missing limb, laying sadly next to him on the desk. It fell off weeks ago, and I’ve been meaning to glue it back on for him, but I just haven’t had the chance.

Ganesh

The point of this story? There is no point. Well the point is that at times, I often speak for the sake of speaking. I love to talk. Love it. And perhaps that’s why I enjoy writing so much too. Because I can speak freely, uninterrupted and entertain people at the same time. Which I am very pleased by.

I know my friend Venessa says that I’m her “new Carrie Bradshaw”, because I often ask myself questions throughout my articles. Unanswerable questions of course, but questions all the same. My friend Amanda says it makes her 15 minute bus trip more enjoyable and go quicker. My sister in law Joelle often texts me to say that my articles have had her in stitches. My friend Hope says that she gets so excited when she sees my “BLOGGED” posts pop up on facebook as she can’t afford to buy magazines and she loves to read the nonsense I carry on with. I have even had an email from a reader telling me my writing is “brilliant & brave”. That’s probably the most flattering compliment of all.

My life is exceptionally uninteresting to me at times, probably because I’m living it, and hey, isn’t the grass always greener?

So this post is dedicated to all of my readers out there in cyberspace whoever you are. I appreciate the feedback and encouragement and I hope I can make someone’s day a little more interesting than mine. And I hope my stories encourage you to be more authentic and not give a shit about what anyone thinks of you.

Love, Amy xxx

Overwhelmingness – yes, I realise that’s not an actual word…

I am impossibly tired. I am mentally and emotionally fatigued. If ever I was going to have some sort of a breakdown, now would be the time. Hence my failure to use correct words.

I am an incredibly sensitive girl. I will absorb everything around me and take it all on board. If someone is upset, it permeates every part of my being and I cannot help but absorb everything from that person. Same if someone has an issue with me. The last thing I would want to do is hurt somebody. If I have hurt someone, it is me who is hurt. I will stew on it for the longest time. Sometimes forever. I am very hard on myself. And very unforgiving of myself at times too. I take on everything like a sponge. And I have a very long memory. It’s just the way I am. And I think, and think, and think. I over-think. Too, too sensitive to everything around me. I’ve been this way since I was a child.

Likewise with the weather affecting me. Thank God I don’t live in London in the winter time because I would most certainly be afflicted with that dreaded SAD (seasonal affective disorder).

Yesterday was the worst weather ever.

I awoke early to begin day 3 of my DIY disaster, otherwise known as my kitchen renovation. I am currently painting my entire kitchen white. It’s a timber kitchen. I foolishly thought it would be a piece of piss (what a stupid saying – I will have to write a piece on ridiculous sayings that make no sense whatsoever). I was a little too ambitious in thinking I could do it all by myself, but being as determined and as stubborn as I am, I am going to see it through even if it kills me – and the way it’s currently going, that is a very strong possibility.

I’ve gone off on a tangent. I do this often as my mind is perpetually on and going at a trillion miles an hour. Friends will often look at me in dismay complaining that I am impossible to keep up with. I guess that’s why my blog is appropriately titled “Chasing Amy”. Like trying to harness the wind I am. So back to me waking up.

I woke up, and I thought it was around 6am. The bedroom was dark and gloomy. I got up, put on my ugg boots, walked to the window and peered out the blinds. Damn. Rain. Oh and it was 8am.

As painting seemed to be out of the question, I decided to get a few things done until the rain stopped.

First I organised all of my new appliances for my kitchen, then called the caesarstone guy to come give me a quote for my new bench tops.

“I can come early next week” he told me.

“No, no that’s not good enough. Come today” I told him. I am a bit of a ball breaker. And impossibly impatient. I want what I want when I want it.

“I can’t come today. I’ll come next week”.

“No, no. Next week is no good. Come tomorrow then. I need this done ASAP. My kitchen isn’t functional and I want it done”

“Ok, I’ll come tomorrow morning”

“Ok great. And promise you will give me a cheap price and don’t turn around and say you can’t make it tomorrow because i’ll be very upset”.

He laughed.

“I promise”.

I don’t know this person, but I have a knack for making people familiar like he was a long lost brother who owes me a favour. I don’t get embarrassed asking people for what I want. I always say, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. And what’s the worst thing he could have said? No?

After that I headed out to the RTA where I changed the rego on my new car into my name and also swapped the plates over to my personalised ones.

I drove home to swap the plates from my old car to my new one. The rain was bucketing down now, but I thought “its’ only water” and I may as well do it and get it out of the way.

Only I realised the holes in the plates did not match up with the holes on the car. I don’t have anyone around to help me with anything right now. My parents are on holidays and I rely heavily on my beautiful father to assist me where he can.he would do anything for my sister and I. In fact, the other week he noticed my mailbox was full of mail and asked me about it.

“Oh yes, I went to get the mail the other day but there was a big spider in there so I decided I’m never checking the mailbox again” I told him matter of factly.

Being well aware of my deep and irrational fear of spiders (he has some excellent stories of my lifelong night terrors in relation to spiders) the next morning he had emptied my mail box for me, brought it all to my door, and removed the offending spider. He’s worth his weight in gold that man. My Aunty Gael in Byron Bay calls him “Saint Robert”. He even cuts all of the neighbours grass. Sometimes he mows their lawns too.

I’m kidding.

But he really does mow all of the neighbours lawns.

My father, like me is very clumsy, but he knows how to do almost everything and also has every tool known to man. Which is in stark contrast to myself. The last 3 days I have been opening tins of paint with a butter knife and sealing them back up with a meat tenderising hammer. I don’t even own a step ladder. Anything at a height greater than 5 foot 2 has me using a stool.

paint

So back to my license plate. I went to my parents house (my parents live 2 doors away – which is both a blessing and a curse), and found this machine I recall watching him use as a child.

I clamped the number plates into place, selected the drill bit I needed to use, put on my safety goggles, flicked the switch on and drilled a hole into the number plate like a seasoned prisoner. I then went and screwed the plates onto both cars. It was pouring rain and icy cold and I was beyond angry as I crouched on the ground like an Asian tiler attempting to screw the wretched things on, shivering from the cold and getting drenched in the process.

I then realised that all of my kitchen cupboards that I had been up painting until midnight the night before (as my progeny had me working until 8pm like a slave and I simply had to finish my priming of the doors when I got home from the office) were outside under the porch. The porch which was slowly flooding due to a blocked drain. I hastily went and picked up all of the wet cupboards off the ground, where the words “motherfucker” and “fucking piece of shit” (oh and the “C” word was thrown about too, which I will refrain from using in this piece but that is a personal favourite of mine when I’m super angry – or to describe a complete asshole) featured heavily in my solitary dialogue, and laid them up against the walls away from the pooling water. I was furious.

I then went into the house and walked into my dismantled kitchen, looked around at the mess I had created and knew that I had taken on way too much.

I went into my bedroom, removed my wet clothing, then went back into what’s left of my kitchen. I calmly made myself a cup of tea, went into my office, sat down, put my head into my hands and cried, and cried, and cried. In fact I wept. You know when you are sobbing so uncontrollably that you almost suffocate? Yes. That. I was defeated. How could I have been so idiotic to have taken on this much work by myself?

After about 20 minutes of solid crying I snapped out of it, dragged my sorry ass back into the kitchen and begun work again. Stopping at half hour intervals to weep pathetically at my foolishness, whilst continuing on painting the damn cupboards, blinded by flowing tears, my paint covered sweater also now covered in streams of snot. Yes, I cried that much.

At around 6.30pm, I realised that I had gotten quite a lot done. I actually only have one more coat to go, which I will attempt to knock over today.

That’s one thing about me. I never quit. I’m not a quitter. I might bitch and whinge and do an astonishing amount of crying, but I don’t give up. Not ever. I am tremendously tenacious. And exceptionally stubborn.

So even when we overwhelm ourselves into pitiful, embarrassing, desperate states of despair, it’s important to just keep on pushing through. You’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish. And if you’re anything like me, keep your fluids up – all that crying will dehydrate you ;).

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“For those who are not frightened by the solitude, everything will have a different taste.

In solitude, they will discover the love that might otherwise arrive unnoticed.

In solitude, they will understand and respect the love that left them.

In solitude, they will be able to decide whether it is worth asking that lost love to come back or if they should simply let it go and set off along a new path.

In solitude, they will learn that saying ‘No’ does not always show a lack of generosity and that saying ‘Yes’ is not always a virtue.

And those who are alone at this moment, need never be frightened by the words of the devil: ‘You’re wasting your time.’

Or by the chief demon’s even more potent words: ‘No one cares about you.’

The Divine Energy is listening to us when we speak to other people, but also when we are still and silent and able to accept solitude as a blessing.

And when we achieve that harmony, we receive more than we asked for.” – Paulo Coelho

“It’s brilliant, being depressed; you can behave as badly as you like.” ― Nick Hornby

Depression. What a strange word. My twitter bio describes me in the words of Woody Allen as suffering from chronic dissatisfaction. I guess you could almost say it’s the same thing. Constantly chasing a rainbow is me to a tee. I’m not too sure what it is exactly that I want. I think I know, but as I haven’t reached that level of bliss with my outwardly seeking pursuits, I know for sure it’s an internal transformation which must take place.
 
Now back to why I have chosen that quote as the header of this blog piece.

I am behaving quite badly. To myself that is. I have taken up smoking around 7 months ago after having quit the habit 10 years ago. I do this to be self destructive. I do it to be rebellious. I do it to say “hey look what I’m doing, and who gives a fuck”. I do it because i don’t care. I’m destroying my health. To the point now where I have had a cold for the past 3 weeks that I cannot seem to shake. To the point where I now have started having to use a ventolin inhaler most days at the gym. To the point where i am noticing my skin isn’t looking as flawless as it used to. It’s a disgusting, filthy, habit.
 
The other thing that I am afflicted with as you know from my previous posts is insomnia. For those of you that have experienced it, it is the most frustrating thing. You are tired, yet you cannot seem to switch off. I sleep for a couple of hours here and there, tossing and turning, getting up and doing things (the other night I got up and put on a load of washing at 1am). It can be quite comical to an observer. But after almost a year now of near sleepless nights, it is gradually taking its toll. Needing for the first time in years to prop myself up on caffeine to enable me to function. Strange body aches due to lack of rest that have me popping pain killers each night before bed. Bags under my eyes, and of course, the most unpleasant side effect of all – the slipping into of depression. A lack of sleep will do this to you. And often when you fall into this dangerous trap your mind will ferret through old remembered emotions and drag them out to the surface to deal with once more.
 
And this is why I am behaving quite badly. At times I feel as though I am wandering aimlessly towards a target that I just cannot see. Blanketed through a fog of not knowing what my future will hold. Not knowing for sure where my life might end up. I guess none of us really know what the future will hold.
 
A big thing for me which has had a huge impact on the direction of my life is my long struggle with infertility. That was something, that at the time broke me irrevocably. But also helped me to become the person I am today. Who that person is though, I’m not entirely sure. Aren’t we all searching for ourselves?
 
During the 6 years that I tried, and failed to become a mother, I experienced deep grief like nothing else. The thing that really struck me was other people’s reactions to the situation at the time. Pity was high on the list of friends reaction towards me and it only fuelled my own feelings of inadequacy.
 
Friends announcing their own pregnancies tore me apart. For years I felt as though I was wandering around with a constant lump in my throat about to burst into tears at the mere mention of a baby. My friend Diane will vouch for this. She, like me, went through a similar thing, and we were lucky enough to have found each other to cry on each others shoulders. She will agree with me that it’s nothing short of an isolating experience. At times I felt like a social leper. Never really fitting in.
 
Baby showers were something that I avoided like the plague. How could I possibly attend an event where I was celebrating someone else’s pregnancy? I could barely even hold someone else’s baby. It’s a selfish thing to think, but as you are going through it you have to do whatever you can to get yourself through. Self preservation is not only a natural instinct but also your duty to your own soul.
 
As more time passed I came to terms with it and decided that that was something that would just never be a part of my world. And it’s not the worst thing that can happen even though as you’re going through it you’re convinced of nothing but. However it does change the course of what’s to come.
 
In my solitude, I often think of what the future will look like. I have opportunities that others do not. However when we are faced with a multitude of choices it can sometimes stop us blind in our tracks and only confuse things even more. Go to a restaurant that has 30 different meal choices on the menu and see how simple it is to make a decision. My late Grandmother always told me that the problem these days is we have too much choice.
 
Do I stay in my large home or do I move to a unit? Do I move to another country or do I stay close to my family? Do I continue doing this job of mine or do I write the book I’ve been wanting to? These are options that not everybody has the luxury of having. And whilst I am grateful, everything ultimately has its price.
 
So whilst I am at peace with that part of my life, the powerful emotions that gripped me at the time have for some reason bubbled up like a toxic stream and found their way to the surface once again and I have succumbed to the self-pitying state I found myself in many years ago.
 
Just like we constantly have to work on our body to stay in shape, so too the mind and our emotions. And to use the overworked phrase, I am a work in progress.

YOU WON’T GET ANYWHERE WITHOUT THE SWEAT OF YOUR BROW

I have always been a hard worker. I need to have my fingers in several different pies in order to function best.

My first job was in 1992 at the age of 13 at a florist. I used to go to school every day, and then go to work every Thursday night, Saturday, and Sunday at a local florist where I earned $5.00 an hour. I would also do singing lessons every Wednesday afternoon after school, and drama school every Saturday morning before work. I was always busy.

When I left school in year 10 (I didn’t feel it necessary to complete my schooling as I knew I never wanted to become a doctor or lawyer or anything else that might require a tertiary education – and besides – I have learnt much more from being in the workforce than what I ever learnt at school), I went to work at Harvey Norman where I worked until I was 22. I used to work Monday to Friday in my role as PA, and then Thursday nights, Saturdays and Sundays doing cashier work for the extra money. I also did a nail course on Tuesday and Wednesday nights which I used later on. I even spent my 21st birthday doing a 14 hour shift in the warehouse at Harvey Norman doing stocktake. I was never that little bitch demanding I be put on a pedestal and given time off because it was my birthday. Do you know how many people I know that actually think its their God given right to be entitled to time off to celebrate their day of birth? In fact i know a lot of adults that demand to have a “birthday week”. A princess I am most certainly not.

Looking back now, I don’t know how I fit in all in. But I did. And it paid off. I bought my first home at the age of 19, and my second at the age of 21.

I also got married at 21, which in my opinion is incredibly young – too young in fact looking back in hindsight. I had a lot of adult responsibilities at such a young age. But its all a learning experience and it all helps to shape us who we become. I feel like I have been an adult for a very long time.

I also started my own business when I was 22, and have employed myself ever since then. I remember in moments of exasperation telling my boss at Harvey Norman at the time “one day I’m going to work for myself, because I’m sick of working this hard and making someone else all of this money”. And I did exactly that.

Although it comes with a lot of responsibility, there is nothing more rewarding than working for yourself. Firstly it generally allows you flexibility, but more importantly, your income is not capped in the way it is when you are working for someone. But you will only achieve good results if you remain focused and work hard. It’s the only way, and it is true of everything in life.

Even with the way I take care of myself. I train at the gym an hour and a half 5 days a week, and eat super healthy throughout the week (I actually stick to the 80/20 rule – eating well 80% of the time, and splurging the remaining 20%). My friends who know me well would rarely see me drink a soft-drink or eat a bag of crisps. Because you won’t get anywhere without dedication and hard work.

So when people complain that they don’t earn enough, or that they want a better body – all you have to do is put in the hours and you will achieve it. It’s a very simple formula. Those that complain about money generally will not sacrifice in any other area of their lives to change that. For years and years I never traveled anywhere, and worked every weekend, every Christmas and New Years, every public holiday, while these people were all out living it up. Its all about sacrifice. What price are you willing to pay for what you would like to achieve? And to the people that complain they want a better body? What are you doing to change that? Eat better, start exercising – problem solved. It’s a very simple formula. You won’t get anywhere without the sweat of your brow.

TIP OF THE DAY – Making fresh cut flowers last

Yesterday a friend dropped past my house, and noticed that the flowers she had bought me a week ago for my birthday were still looking fabulous.

“How do you get them to last that long?” she asked me.

My first job ever was back in 1992 when I was 13, and I worked at a florist. So my tip for getting fresh cut flowers to last is this – when you go to put them in a vase, put around a teaspoon of sugar in the vase, dissolved in HOT water (filling the vase also with HOT water), and voila – your flowers will last for ages!

You’re welcome.