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Things to do when the internet won’t stop being annoying

“Humans have inhabited the earth for millions of years and I had to be born during the rise of the internet and social media,” I sigh to myself as my newsfeed is bombarded with more nonsense, this time with news about how some ‘high & mighty’ doofus thinks that the gays are the cause of the recent New Zealand earthquakes???

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I could quite easily turn this into a piece about how his comments have no logic (believe me, I am tempted) but the doofus is probably just after the attention and I’d rather not give it to him (given the recent events in America as anything to go by).

So before I commence into this list of cool things to do when the internet annoys you; please a note to those who did not grow up with the internet and social media at their finger tips, I realise that this probably seems like an obvious thing but sometimes we young-ins need a little extra reminding given the internet and social media have become ingrained in our lives.

  1. GO OUTSIDE
    Get out of your pajamas and go see the world with your own eyes. Breathe that fresh air into your lungs. Smell the roses. Get a little grubby. You’ll feel better for it.
  2. READ A BOOK
    Lose yourself in a novel. Forget about everything that is going on in the world. Forget about what everyone else is doing that you’re not and escape into a reality world for a wee while.
  3. CALL A FRIEND
    No don’t text them or message them on Facebook. Pick up the phone. Hear their voice. That’s when you can tell how someone really is. Better yet, they may be just as bored as you so wohoo now you’ve got a pal to hang with.
  4. EDUCATE YOURSELF
    If you don’t wanna read a novel, read something else. Find something you’re interested in and read about that. Read about it until you learn everything there is to know and then read some more. Don’t be like the doofus who thinks gays caused the earthquake. I mean, I know I’m powerful, but not that powerful mate.
  5. DANCE
    Even if you look silly doing it. We’ll all be dead sooner or later so who will care then?
    And c’mon who doesn’t wanna jam to I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) by the Proclaimers?
  6. VOLUNTEER
    Why not use your time helping other people? Put yourself to good use. The internet will still be there when you get back (for better or for worse) and I guarantee you’ll probably feel good for it.
  7. PLAY A SPORT
    You’re bound to make some friends doing it.
  8. PAT SOME ANIMALS
    Why? Because they are so god damn cute and who doesn’t want to gooey over furry friends. Plus, they make for good company.
  9. GET CREATIVE
    Paint. Draw. Write. Sing. Design. Channel your inner actor. Learn a new language.
  10. DO SOMETHING
    Step away from the screen and just do something. Jump out of a plane (obviously with a trained professional), bike with no hands, start knitting, whatever. The internet isn’t real life. And let’s face it, it can be annoying sometimes. Take a break. It’ll be worth it.
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What a pile of absolute nonsense

I recently stumbled across an article titled “thirty things you should never do after the age of thirty” and despite a heavy sense of reluctance to react to what was obviously click bait, I was intrigued to see what crap they had deemed not appropriate for thirty-plus year old’s and what things I as a twenty-one year old ‘best get out of my system’ before I reach my thirties.

With better facial expressions than Anne Hathaway, I made my way through what was an interesting list. It included things like it is unacceptable to be asking friends to help you move house, to be cleaning your own shower (because you should be hiring professionals to do that…), dressing like a punk, taking selfies, going for a holiday in Bali and getting an adventurous haircut.

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Oh okay you self-righteous one…

While this article was probably just written by a rich, middle-aged man sitting behind his fancy desk and was designed to generate click-bait, I couldn’t quite shake the irritated and rattled feeling it left me with.

Why is it that we accept the way things are without ever really questioning why it is we accept things the way they are? It seems to me that life is a bit of an ugly paradox that we are all just going along with because that’s what we’ve always known.

Before we are even born, our lives are being conditioned based on our biological sex and we are expected to conform to such gender roles. If we’re a boy, we must be tough and show no emotion because God forbid boys cry. If we’re a girl, we must concern ourselves with our appearance and making sure we look pretty for boys. Boys must be masculine and girls must be feminine. Better not find yourself not conforming to these constructs because that’s just the way things are… but also boys and girls don’t forget that the world is your oyster and it is important to be yourself and follow your dreams… Anyone else confused as to what the hell is going on?

The issue I have with the article is that, like with many things, it is conditioning people to think that we ought to conform to these expectations, leaving little room to exist outside the box without ridicule. But the thing I think we forget is that these expectations are only expectations because we let them be. And at some place in time, someone decided that this was how things should be and I refuse to go along with that nonsense.

So when I’m thirty I can’t wait to ask my friends to help me move house, to clean my own shower, dress like a punk if I’m feeling that vibe, take endless selfies, take a holiday in Bali and cut all my damn hair off because what a pile of nonsense it is to conform to so-called expectations just because someone somewhere said you should.

Some days my biggest achievement is putting a bra on. And that’s okay?

On a scale of changing the world to putting a bra on, I would rate today’s success as a 12C out of 10.

Before I allow myself to be washed over with guilt for avoiding my two essays that are in desperate need of some attention, I suppose I did do a public service by helping to keep the such reasonably priced over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder industry in business??

Yes, today was about as successful as Harry Potter trying to run into the wall at Platform 9 and 3/4 in the Chamber of Secrets.

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i.e not.

I spent my day developing square eyes, talking to my cat and avoiding all thought of my looming uni deadlines. Oh and putting on a bra.

It is now coming up midnight and I have nothing to show for the day, apart from maybe a little extra something around the mid-line area having gorged on a block of chocolate. Now I am suddenly slightly concerned by the idea that if I can waste one day, what’s to say I’m not going to waste my whole damn life??

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God dammit, you’re probably thinking, things just got a little dramatic up in here!?

Funny that. Suddenly,  you’re running through platform 9 and 3/4 and entering into another world and the next you’re crashing into that same wall.

Okay so maybe that’s an over-exaggerated analogy of my day and how it didn’t really go to plan but the point being that you can’t always plan out your life and that’s not always a bad thing. Harry may not have been able to run through the platform but he still managed to make it to Hogwarts and had a little bit of fun along the way.

As long as you make a little effort each day (like me putting my bra on today) that’s surely what counts in the end.

 

 

 

Let’s get a thing or two straight…

People of the internet, hello to you!

Dear I say, it’s been a while.

With great passion I have been avoiding my blog for the past few months as though it were the catalyst for the plague. I got cold feet…

I suddenly felt this overwhelming surge of panic after sharing my blog on Facebook, that everyone was going to learn a thing or two about my sexuality (even though I was never totally explicit about it) and at the first sign of things looking sour (someone found out), I freaked out and fled for the hills. Apparently I hadn’t dealt with things properly myself?

While I may not have literally “fled for the hills,” I certainly ignored my blog (and all writing for that matter) and traveled around Europe. Note: I was studying in Copenhagen at the time so I was technically already in Europe but if you want to go with the more poetic version of imagining me abandon reality at the drop of a hat to deal with my internalized homophobia and do some much needed soul searching by travelling the world, then by all means be my guest.

Did I miraculously rid myself of all fear and find myself whilst gorging on frog’s legs near the Louvre in Paris? Unfortunately it couldn’t be quite so poetic.

Travelling, it definitely changes you. You’ve heard it all before? Good.

I don’t think you really notice it until you’re home when you’re looking in the mirror and you see your reflection staring back at you and it’s all over, and sure you may have dyed your hair, got yourself a nose piercing or some new ink to remember your favourite city but that’s not it, there’s something different, something that is not so obvious to the naked eye. I don’t think I will go so far as to say that travelling helps you find yourself because I’m not sure we ever really do “find” ourselves. But I know that travelling has the power to change you; to make you more empathetic, more understanding, more grateful, stronger, more confident and inspired and gifts you with a new set of eyes on how you see the world.

What my experience travelling has taught me is that everyone has “baggage.” Not the kind that you have to check in at the airport three hours before your flight, and declare the internal contents of to the flight attendant but the baggage that you cart around with you every single day. The kind that we are all too afraid to talk about, acknowledge and “declare.”

It’s not until we talk about that stuff, the stuff that we feel like no one else could possibly understand because we can’t see each other’s baggage, that we give ourselves and others the opportunity and permission to be free. At the end of the day, while we may live worlds apart, be separated by large bodies of water and continents, look different, sound different and go about our lives in different ways, we ALL have baggage and are filled with fears, hope, doubts, insecurities, dreams and love. We are not alone in our circumstances. We are more similar than we often care to admit.

My challenge to each and every one of you is to free yourself from your internal baggage. Even if it is one item at a time. This will give others the platform they need to do the same and just imagine what sort of magic that could create.

X

Bucket List

In light of my fast-approaching official declaration of adulthood (aka my twenty-first), I thought it was an appropriate occasion to create a bucket list as I enter a new phase of my life.

I have no greater fear than reaching the end of my life and realising that I spent too much time stressing about trivial matters and settled for mediocrity that I forgot to really LIVE.

So here’s to turning twenty-one and the start of the rest of my life!


  1. Live in a small cottage in the forest and write a book
  2. Bungee jump
  3. Visit the Grand Canyon
  4. Hire a combi van and drive around the States
  5. Swim with dolphins
  6. Go on an African safari
  7. Live in London
  8. Help those suffering from mental illness in some way
  9. Write poetry
  10. Visit Disneyland
  11. Practice meditation and mindfulness
  12. Do volunteer work in the community – at a homeless shelter or with animals
  13. Live in New York
  14. Get married
  15. Experience a white Christmas
  16. Go hiking in a rainforest
  17. Find a job that I love that makes a difference in society
  18. Travel around Norway
  19. Go white water rafting
  20. Sleep under the stars and watch the sun rise with someone I love
  21. Hold a baby in the air and sing “The Circle of Life”

 

Maybe I’m too naïve?

I have always held onto the belief that everything in life happens for a reason.

The idea that every moment, experience, encounter, disappointment, heartache, closed-door or wrong turn has been a string of connections leading me to exactly where I need to be in this moment. That for every failure, there is something I can learn. For every closed-door, there is a better door waiting for me to open it. For every time I feel down and hopeless, there is a chance for me to grow stronger or wiser as a person.

The idea that somehow it is all part of this grand plan that the universe has in store for us.

But then there are times when things make absolutely no freaking sense at all that I just chuck my hands in the air and question why I believe in this notion.

  • Why are innocent people taken from us because of the selfish actions of others?
  • Why do bad things happen to good people?
  • Why does cancer exist?
  • Why is it that some people have too much money and power for their own good (*cough* Donald Trump *cough*), while other’s lack access to the most basic human needs?
  • Why is it that some people are dealt an easier hand than others?

On this quiet Thursday afternoon, I am left pondering whether or not this outlook that I have come to believe in is in fact extremely naïve because there sure as hell isn’t any good reason for the loss of innocent lives “in the grand scheme of things.”

Perhaps me believing in this “everything happens for a reason” mantra is much the same as Karl Marx viewing religion as being “an opiate of the masses.” Perhaps I want something to hold onto to try to make sense of this game we call life? Maybe I am relying too heavily on this ideology because I’m afraid of uncertainty?

I would love to be able to finish this post off by saying that I have all the answers to this game we are playing. But unfortunately that isn’t going to happen today (or ever).

Let me know what you think! Is this a naïve way of viewing the world?

Xx

The award goes to…

Yet again, Denmark has landed itself at the top of the UN World Happiness Report!

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As if being home to the fairy tale genius that was Hans Christian Anderson (notoriously known for his tale of the Little Mermaid) wasn’t enough, the Danes appear to be living their very own “fairy tale” much to the on-look and intrigue of the rest of the world.

If you were to ask the Danes yourself about what makes them so happy you would probably receive a response (or lack thereof) that involves a fair amount of awkward shuffling combined with the presence of a frog in one’s throat. I certainly have!

So how do they do it? What is it that makes the Danes so damn happy? What are they continually getting “right” that the rest of the world has yet to catch on to? Is it all that running around in tight lycra or time spent commuting on their bicycles that is contributing to their happiness? Is it the continual appreciation of the beautiful, colourful architecture that encompasses the country that is contributing to their great cheekbones? Is it the ability to have a beer (or eight) in the park during spring? Is it their unique love for liquorice that makes them so satisfied with life?

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Yet despite the accolades, Danes are certainly not exempt from mental health issues. In fact, according to the OECD, “the world’s happiest nation” has among the highest levels of consumption of anti-depressants. In having said this, the government provides universal health care which means that all citizens have access to mental health treatment. Danes point proudly to their welfare system and enjoy access to medical services, dental care, physiotherapy and prescriptions.

As well as this the government provides free education for those aged between six and sixteen, Danes maintain a healthy work-life balance, Denmark was ranked eighth on the 2013 international Gender Gap Index and [Copenhagen] was voted the most LGBT friendly city in 2014 by Lonely Planet!

While each individual will certainly rank their ‘level of happiness’ differently, there is no doubt that the Danes appear to be doing something right having cemented their position at the top of nearly every global quality of life survey!

Is this what Hans Christian Anderson would call happily ever after?

I miss you

I miss you

Even though we never met

I long to be in your presence

Even just for a day

 

I wouldn’t ask for much

Just to observe

 

To observe;

The way you move through crowds of people

Or wade through waist deep water

 

The way you interact with animals

Or with complete strangers

 

The way you sit on your bed and immerse yourself in a good book

Or how you stand in line at a store

 

The way your hair shapes your face

Or how it blows in the wind

 

The way you laugh in the presence of family and friends

Or the smile on your face when your soul is fed

 

The way your eyes sparkle when you are surrounded by the people you love

Or the way your eyes light up when you talk about something close to your heart

 

The way you brush away tears as to not let anyone see your pain

Or how your tears roll shamelessly down your face

 

The way your cheeks blush when you’re embarrassed

Or the way you frown when you’re feeling down

 

The way you wrap your arms around those you care about

Or the way your hands feel to hold them

 

I miss you

In all the ways I will never know

Stone the flamin’ crows!

It’s been two months since I left the nest and I haven’t given myself food poisoning. If that’s not a call for celebration then I don’t know what is.

To the embarrassment of my now obviously more grown up self, two months ago I didn’t know how to cook a chicken. No, unfortunately I’m not joking. I put it down to a combination of lack of interest, laziness and the fact that my mum is an angel who adores cooking as much as I adore eating fries (which if you didn’t know, is a whole lot). Say what you will (my friends certainly don’t hold back) but a lot can change in two months apparently. I am now the proud host of my own Masterchef show where I pass on my wisdom (that may or may not have been acquired from Google) to new and upcoming foodies. It’s quite a rewarding experience if I’m being honest.

Alongside my newly found cooking skills I have been getting a lot of use out of my passport. In the last two months I have been lucky enough to explore Copenhagen (my home), Berlin, Stockholm, Hamburg and Malmö with many more destinations on the horizon.

12476819_1138781099505914_741755146_o– Stockholm

12325262_1142214235829267_1569558863_n– Hamburg

I can now truly relate to what people mean when they say that travelling is a rewarding and eye-opening experience. In Hamburg, Sophie (another exchange student from NZ) and I stumbled upon a carnival en route from our hostel that was situated in the middle of the red light district. It is fair to say that it was probably one of my highlights so far (the carnival – not the red light district; although our roommate who stumbled into the hostel at 4.30am two mornings in a row may have had other ideas). Anyway, we may or may not have run around the carnival like six year old’s on a sugar high, two evenings in a row.

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I thank my lucky stars for having this opportunity to live (and study – better not forget that part) in Copenhagen. It’s a funny thing, life is. One minute you can be at the end of your tether, wishing that things could be different and the next, having the time of your life. I guess it is all about learning to ride the roller-coaster that is life and taking the good with the bad; celebrating when things are going well and holding onto hope when things are shitty.

Anyway, there is a lot more to be learnt for this two month – solo – grown up – who has eaten far too much chocolate and doesn’t know when to stop, explorer.

Xx

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