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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.

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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. 

A Little Thank You Note

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It’s no secret that the qualities you value in a friend change as you get older. Everyone gets busier and there is less time for people who don’t genuinely value, appreciate, support and care about you.

And so, this is just a little thank you to the friends in my life who care about me, through the good times and the not so good times. The ones who show they are there for me, even if it’s through something as simple as a text, because it is absolutely the thought that counts and often the simple things that mean the most.

It’s one thing to celebrate successes with someone but totally different to be supportive during sad times. It’s the people who are there for both, that are the most special.

To these friends I want to say thank you – I do not take you for granted, I appreciate you. I appreciate your friendship. You are incredible human beings!

The 5 Reasons I Hate Gift-Giving

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With December merely days away, the shops are about be over-run with people searching for the perfect presents. Some people love gift-giving. They are the people who plan your next birthday present the second you finish unwrapping this year’s. Birthdays and Christmas are their favourite time of the year, because they can spoil their friends and family with meaningful, generous presents. These people are great; I am just not one of them.

I hate presents. I hate having to buy them and I hate people having to buy them for me. I should clarify that I am referring presents given on birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day.  Spotting something in a shop and buying it because you know someone will appreciate it – that’s different. ‘Just because’ presents are awesome. They have my full support.  I’m talking about presents for the hallmark holidays, when it’s an expectation.  I hate it, and here’s why;

  1. I’ve probably already used up my good gift ideas
    If we’ve been friends for a while, chances are I am running out of gift ideas that you’d love, because I already bought it 4 years ago. How many books can you buy a book-lover? How much jewellery can any one female really own? Don’t even ask me what the hell kind of present you’re meant to buy for boys (seriously, I always struggle with this, suggestions are welcome).
  1. There’s nothing I could buy you that you can’t buy yourself
    When we were kids, we had lists of things we wanted for our birthdays or Christmas. We didn’t have jobs, so we didn’t have money, and we would wait all year until our parents uttered those magic words – ‘what would you like from Santa this year?’. These days, when I want something I just go and buy it. I know you do the same. What could I possibly get you that you can’t get yourself? (You’ll probably also get a better version of it, because you know exactly what you want).
  1. There are lots of things I can’t buy you
    I would love to spend hundreds of dollars on each of my friends for their birthdays – I would have so many more gift ideas! Finance wise though, that’s just not an option. Plus, unless you enjoy coming off as pretentious, no one wants to be that friend who gives a $300 Go Pro with all the extra’s when your unspoken ‘present budget’ was $50.
  1. I come from a big family
    I have a lot of cousins and second cousins. When they are kids, they’re easy to buy for. Once they hit their teens and become overtly aware of what is cool and their personal style, it gets a little harder (trust me, I was one). The fad from 2 months ago (when you bought their present) has already become lame. So what on earth do you buy them? The adults in my family do a Secret Santa for Christmas and even then, having to write a list of things for someone else to buy me that fits within the ‘present budget’ is hard because, well, see points 2 and 3.
  1. You can’t buy love
    Rather than some thing, I want some time. I want some quality time with my nearest and dearest. Let’s do something together. Let’s go somewhere fun and take lots of photos. Let’s go out for lunch and chat for hours. I don’t care about a present; anyone can spend money. Your time is much more valuable, and much more appreciated. After all, Christmas, birthday’s, holidays, that’s what they are all about – quality time with those you love the most. That’s the best gift of all.

Half Full Or Half Empty; Take Control Of Your Glass

“Doesn’t matter if the glass is half-empty or half-full. All that matters is that you are the one pouring the water.” – Mark Cuban 

glass half full half emptyI’ve always thought of myself as an optimist, someone who sees the glass as half full. But that might not be true. Sometimes things don’t work out the way you want and there’s no point living in denial, trying to pretend you’re happy about something that just plain sucks. I might not always think the glass is half full but I don’t think it’s half empty, either. I simply think what I know to be true; there is a glass with some water in it. How much? Doesn’t matter. I never really thought about this until the words were right in front of me, but I agree with billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban. What matters is that I am the one in control of it – I am “the one pouring the water”.

I agree with this in two parts. Firstly, because while we can’t control every situation, we can (for the most part) control our outlook on it. We can control the way we react. Emotions are a very powerful thing, particularly if you struggle with how to deal with them or if they overcome logical and rational truths. While I understand humans can’t control the actual emotions we feel, we can absolutely control how we respond to those emotions.

This great skills means that it is entirely in your hands how you choose to go about being fired, being dumped, fighting with your friend. You can choose to dwell on the negatives and spiral into misery; glass half empty. You can choose to seek out any positives and ignore the rest; glass half full. Or you can see both positive and negative and take control of what happens from there.

Secondly, because I am a strong believer in focusing on what you can control and letting go of the rest. I think a lot of people get caught up worrying about things that are out of their control. Sometimes they even create unsubstantiated worry by focusing on the negative “what if’s”. It’s like having a full glass but worrying what might happen if someone tipped part of it out. Focus on the facts. If something bad should happen, deal with it at the time. Most of us already have enough to stress about, without adding a problem that doesn’t exist.

With any issue, it doesn’t matter how full or how empty your glass is, so long as you are in charge of what goes into it.