Author: miabella

This Adventure We Call Life

I have this friend, well he’s more a friend of a friend and he is, as they say, ‘living the dream’. He says he got sick of paying bills, sold everything he owned and went on an adventure. 

He’s been living and working in the south of France and just traipsing about Europe for the past 8 months; meeting people along the way but travelling solo for the most part. 

My life, for the most part, involves travelling 5km to work, sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day (if I’m honest, it’s more like 10 hours) and feeling like I need an extra day in the week set aside just for rejuvenation.

There are no causal 2 hour drives landing me in a completely different country. No waking up among a sunflower field. No sunset strolls at 9.30pm. No southern France beauty. 

And that’s okay because life won’t always be a holiday, but if you’re lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel, you should grab hold of that opportunity without asking questions. Travel – new experiences, people, cultures – is one of those things that truly enriches your soul. It opens your eyes and teaches you things you never even thought about learning. 

The point I am trying to articulate is that while I get caught up in the intricacies and day to day sameness of my life, there is someone out there who took a giant fucking leap. They left everything they know, every comfort they had, moved to a place they’ve never been, and started an adventure. 

An adventure; exactly what life is meant to be. We get so stuck in our own worlds, keeping our heads down and dealing with only what’s in front of us. We hear about people travelling and say ‘I wish that was me’ without realising that it could be. If that’s what you really wanted, it could be. Life is a journey and it shouldn’t be experienced from just one viewpoint; pack a bag, go on a road trip, move cities. Don’t stand still. 
No matter what’s going on in your life, no matter how busy it is, never forget that this world is infinite. It’s so much bigger than your city, your state, your country. Go and explore it, at least for a little while. 

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Useless Facts About Past Loves

I know things about my ex-boyfriends that no one else does. I know if they are self conscious about having 3 grey hairs. I know if they secretly aspire to owning their own business. I know if they sleep on the left side of the bed. I know that when they say ‘I’ve had a bad day’ they mean ‘I’ve been over thinking and need to talk it out’. I know that their best friend isn’t the one they spend the most time with. Granted, I made up all these things up (to ensure I don’t spill any secrets), my point still stands.

We spend time getting to know the ins and outs of someone and everything that makes them who they are and then, one day, things end. And suddenly we have all this knowledge about one specific person, and nothing to do with it.

You hear people ask ‘when you stop dating someone, where does the love go?’ My question is, when you stop dating someone, where does all that information go? What do you do with it? It isn’t transferable to your next partner (or at least, it shouldn’t be, unless you date the exact same people over and over); I’m pretty sure their new partner won’t want any handover notes or insight from you. It’s like all these little bits of information you’ve built on over the months, years, become worthless. Do we simply push them aside; forget about them to make way for the intricacies of your next lover?

When relationships end, it can seem like such a pointless feat. Why did we bother learning everything about this one person? What good came of it? But, you know, I wouldn’t change it for the world. There are mixed opinions as to what is the best part of a relationship – is it the early stages, when you are first getting to know each other and each new piece of information gets you closer to completing the puzzle? Is it later on, when you have discovered all their little quirks, everything that makes them, uniquely them, and you have a sense of true connection?

I honestly can’t answer that question; I love both parts and at the same, often wish for the part I don’t have. I love getting to know someone and I love knowing someone inside out. I just end up with all these little bits of information that can’t be applied to anything else in my life. Everything that was so important and treasured so dearly, is never to be spoken of again.

Once this knowledge has crept to an unlit corner in the back of my mind, sitting next to other redundancies such as how to multiply fractions, there is one thing I will continue to treasure – no matter whether or not it lasts, I have connected with someone on such a profound level that I felt comfortable sharing everything about myself with them and, in return, having the privilege of discovering parts of them few others know. That’s a pretty powerful connection. That’s what makes it worthwhile, long after the information ceases to be.

There Are So Many Blogs / Why Even Bother?

I haven’t been able to write tonight. I sat in front of my laptop for over an hour, looking at my list of topics, trying to think up new ideas but unable to string more than half a sentence together. They say that to write well, you should write often. I’ve tried to prioritise writing and make it a weekly habit but lately I have felt like I don’t have anything of value to say.

If my ideas either aren’t interesting or have been done to death, why bother? I feel like I’m letting myself down when another week goes by and I haven’t written a single thing. In the past I’ve blamed that on being time poor but at the moment I simply don’t want to write and that makes me really sad. It’s meant to be something I love yet I haven’t felt like doing it for the past month. Why is that?

There is so much content available to everyone, all the time. And so much of it is bullshit; the last thing we need are more click bait blogs about ‘the top 10 tips from happy couples’ or ‘6 things he does that make you sure he’s the one’. Relationships still fascinate me, but the number of articles written about them is getting intolerable.

And that’s fine – writing has always been something I’ve done for myself, I’m not writing to get a billion clicks and so it shouldn’t matter what anyone else is doing. But when I start to get sick of seeing articles about the very same topic I write most about, it makes me wonder why bother writing at all.

This is a very new feeling for me. I may have limited time or writers block preventing me from writing, but I never actively think about not wanting to write (and don’t think the irony of writing that sentence is lost on me). Part of it comes down to expectation; if I didn’t have an expectation of how often I should be writing, I would be free to do it only when the desire struck and there would be no over thinking it. Part of it comes from knowing that, for me, this blog is about more than just having an outlet – it’s about working on a skill, something that requires practise, and so the expectation is almost necessary in order to achieve that.

It doesn’t really matter, though. There will be periods where I don’t want to write; periods where I wonder why I bother if it continues looking less likely to result in something I do for a career. But if you took one of your favourite hobbies and relied on it to make a living, would it still be your favourite? Maybe there will be times when I feel like quitting altogether but I know that will pass. Writing is what I’ve always done. I’ve been doing this for the past 20 years. It might take a back seat or get put on hold from time to time, but it’s always going to be there. It’s a part of who I am, after all, and I’m glad that’s what I ended up realising through all this. 

The First Post From Melbourne Town

I have been all over the place lately. Unfortunately, that place hasn’t been within this blog. While I could sit here and make excuses, the truth is I’ve just been lazy. I’m happy to admit this because it’s been a conscious choice. I thought I would have all the time in the world to write when I moved to Melbourne. I anticipated being met with some solitude. I was wrong. It feels like I haven’t stopped since I first stepped off the plane onto Melbourne soil more than a month ago. Sometimes I can’t believe it’s been a whole month. Other times, I can’t believe it’s only been a month. Time is fickle like that.

One thing I can say for certain is that I’m very happy with this decision. In a place where so much is still so new, I’ve not once felt out of place and I believe that has a lot to do with it being the right move at the right time. Your mid twenties are a sweet spot in life – you’re old enough to be earning a decent living and therefore living a decent life, you’re selfish enough to put your needs first, brave enough to go after what you want and still young enough to make stupid mistakes without berating yourself over the notion of ‘knowing better’.

If I’m honest, even at times when I’ve complained over the past four weeks, I know this really couldn’t have gone any better. I want to write that I’ve been lucky but luck implies that there was no planning or effort involved. I have put in effort. Effort to find a good place to live, effort at work, effort to be social. I am proud of those efforts. That may sound contrived but it’s not often enough that we acknowledge our own efforts. It’s not often enough we stop and take stock of what we’ve accomplished. I’m pretty damn happy with mine.

Some Relationships Are Meant to be Friendships

Have you ever looked back at a past lover and thought ‘we should have just been friends’? I have, often. I don’t mean that in a negative way. I don’t mean that I’ve wondered ‘what was I thinking, we should have never dated’. I simply mean that some relationships are meant to be friendships.

Sometimes you meet people and there is an instant connection. You date them, because that seems to be the natural progression and for whatever reason, things end. You fall out of love. But that doesn’t mean you stop loving them altogether.

That ongoing love can be terrible or terrific. It can result in a heartbreak you struggle to get over, or it can give you a new lease on your relationship. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been really lucky with that ongoing love and that you definitely shouldn’t always stay friends once a relationship has ended. Everyone has to do what’s right for them.

That said, of the people I’ve dated, I now consider two of them best friends. Not just ‘we’re still Facebook friends and attend each other’s birthdays’ type friends, but actual best friends.

One of these best friends of mine has wisely answered the ever asked “why do you stay friends with an ex?” in the most simple and logical way. He said, “you spend all that time getting to know someone and you obviously enjoyed hanging out with them, why throw it all away?” I re-use his explanation all the time.

The people I have dated are still some of my favourite people in the world. They are people I trust with my life, people I know will look out for me, people who have seen me at my most crazy and know all my bad habits and still choose to be my friend. There is this unconditional love. They know more about me than most of my other best friends. They aren’t afraid to call me on my bullshit because they know I’ll still love them afterwards, and vice versa. It’s a unique relationship. It’s one I’m really grateful for.