MJFANGIRL.COM – My Guest Post

I recently did a guest post for my long-time friend from New York, Isha. I talked about my experience meeting Michael Jackson in 2002.

MJFanGirl Blog is a really cool little corner of the internet that is well thought out and full of very cool information about Michael Jackson’s career. What sets it apart is not the fact that its not full of saturated adoration and tangents about how¬†beautiful MJ is (which let’s be honest, we all think he was, lol, but not the point) its the kind of blog that allow us to learn more about the small details of his career that a casual fan probably wouldn’t know about.

 

Go ahead and read my post. ūüôā

http://www.mjfangirl.com

BigCuzLittleCuz – Launch

So, I’ve been a little (a lot) quiet over the past few weeks cos I’ve been working on a little side business, BigCuzLittleCuz with my cousin (surprise, surprise!).

She is currently living between Queensland and Western Australia and visits me every now and then to hang out and relax between work. While she was here, we began looking for some suppliers of bits and pieces that would accomodate the types of jewellery and accessories we would like to create.

Both of us need some ‘down time’ and some things to focus on besides work and other things, so we thought that this might be a fun avenue.

BigCuzLittleCuz is specifically earrings at this point, but we have some other things on the way and hopefully will branch out with some other homemade products. We are selling solely on Etsy at the moment, looking to start uploading our things to an Australian website, MadeIt.Com.Au as well as an online store after we start making some sales.

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BigCuzLittleCuz

So, if you’re interested; check us out:
Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/BigCuzLittleCuz
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bigcuzlittlecuz/   
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bigcousinlittlecousin/

And we’ll be back to regular programming in no time.

Born to inspire

Born to amuse, to inspire, to delight…

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It doesn’t hurt to be nice to others.

Well, sometimes it does; especially when you hate that person so badly that each time you look at them, you fantasise about launching yourself at them with great gusto and gouging out their eyeballs and pickling them for about 6 months before feeding them to the next person who dares cross  you.

But um– that aside, it really doesn’t hurt.

I often find women, even friends, are in constant competition with others. They can be jealous and rude and happy to see when someone is having a hard time or is failing at something they try so hard to succeed with. About six months back, I shared that I was trying to lose weight and get healthy on a social network site. Rather than being encouraging, someone replied asking, “lol, here we go again, hey, how long will this time last?”

People struggle with a lot of things in life — personally, I struggle with my health as earlier outlined, and more than that, I struggle to stay healthy. It should be my life ambition to maintain a healthy lifestyle so as not to upset any existing issues. My friends should recognise this and rather than try to belittle me for it, encourage me and spur me on when I do feel like giving up. That’s what friends should do, right?

It doesn’t pay to be an ass.

As a result of that, I’ve only shared my successes with the people who I consider to be very close in my life — and that is a shame, because I am so incredibly proud of everything.

I realised how badly burned by the experience I was when I received a beautiful message from one of my best friends early last week, that was both uplifting, loving and inspiring.

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Its always been my hope that the people in my life (my loved ones, friends, fam, etc) can look upon me fondly and think that at some point I’ve said something nice or meaningful to them at a time when they’ve needed to hear it the most; specifically like my beautiful friend exemplified above. There have been other times where I’ve had phone calls from friends just to say they love me or to say they have been thinking of me and those are always perfectly timed.

Even if someone is exhibiting a harmless behaviour you don’t like or that you want to roll your eyes at, it doesn’t mean you have the right to be unkind to them or mock them; or worse, tell them to get a life. We are all different people, we all think and feel different ways, but the one thing we have in common is that desire to have someone give us a pat on the back and encourage us or speak uplifting words or love in to our lives at the times when we need it the most.

Many of my friends are going through hard times — good friends¬†and not such close friends — and it feels nicer to be thoughtful, considerate and loving toward them during the hard times, rather than sitting back in a voyeuristic way, deriving a little bit of satisfaction to know that you’re in a better place emotionally and sometimes physically.

It doesn’t pay to be nice, but it also doesn’t pay to be an arsehole.

Choose to inspire someone rather than choosing to be a dipshit. Its pretty simple.

Its your 30th Birthday!

Maybe its just that I’m an old bitch, but it seems all of my closest friends (and my boyfriend) is turning 30 this year.

I want to dedicate this post to my best friend of 16 years, Louise aka The Girl Who Thinks She’s Mariah Carey.

In 7th grade, I went to a high school for about 15 months and subsequently spent about 7 of those months out of school with sickness. When I got back I had to forge an entirely new group of friends. I don’t think a lot of those “friends” liked me, but when I announced I was changing schools, one girl in particular told me about a former friend of theirs called Louise. “If you meet her¬†do not be friends with her, she thinks she’s Mariah Carey just cos she can sing.”

Hm, yep. She sounds diabolical. Like, akin to Lucifer…. and both their names start with “L”, so … that yep, checks out. ¬†Don’t make friends with Louise the completely awful demon 13 yr old who thinks she’s Mariah Carey, got it.

The first day that I started the school I was introduced to Louise. She didn’t look like Mariah Carey (unfortunately for me), but that’s probably because she was a demon and actually¬†nothing like Mariah. She was singing (ugh, turd) in the maths classroom some areoplane song with her arms stretched out, threading between desks, you know, doing her work… the rest of the students were hanging off the lights and fans and jumping on tables…. Just a regular maths lesson.

Perhaps this is why I failed general maths. Probably cos of Demon/Mariah Carey.

Made my own group of friends independant to the demon that someone made sing to me at some stage during that first Maths lesson (and while I’m on the topic, nice of the assholes to shove me in a Maths class on my very first lesson at a new school, wtf?! Did they think that was going to be warming?) she sang a song from Sister Act. I didn’t cringe or want to pour kerosine down my ears and flick a match, so that was ¬†a plus.

The friends that I made turned out to be complete bastards, well, one in particular who seemed to be the sweetest.

I knew Louise well enough to sit with her by that stage, and think I invited myself. I still have a clear image of her eating a mars bar from the outside in and having caramel goo everywhere and bitching with me about the injustice that my former group of girlfriends had done me. We shared a like for Silverchair and then we discussed 3T (the failing band contacted all over my folder) and a friendship was instantly born.

Before I knew it, she was staying at my place on weekends and I, at hers. (This is the place I got away with everything, never in a million years would my parents have let me catch a bus anywhere, let alone to LIVERPOOL hahahhahaa or even walk down the shops on a busy road…. suckers!).

This is almost two decades of friendship that has transcended teenage bitch fights, distance, stupidity, meanness, misunderstandings and the introduction to men and jealousy and between girls. And I’m proud of that.

We have so many hilarious memories. We used to write endless stream of awful fan fiction (a shared story, both trying to ‘get the other back’ for the awfulness we’d inflict upon characters each time we got the chance to write), spend time in chatrooms causing dramas with internet nobodys. All those hours spent waiting for buses, listening to each others woes and having each others backs. There was that period between 1998-2013 where we thought we were black (just kidding, we still think we are, no no just kidding again…..sort of).

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There were letter books where we gave people code names as a freeway to bitch about them as obscenely as we wanted. There were awful boyfriends that came and went. There were phone calls to each others respective love interests that we would put through purely to find out information, “What would you do if….”

And as adults?

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Almost daily phone calls, sharing the dizzying highs and lows of both of our relationships. Discussions of cold cheese burgers, fettucini noodle dances when I’m down.

Basically, a friend for life. The only thing wrong about our friendship (besides the disgusting jokes that I’m constantly making) is the fact that we live states apart.

And you know what, this bitch¬†still thinks she’s Mariah Carey…..

Just kidding, she’s not a ditzy, big-boned broad who acts dumber than she really is. And besides, if she¬†was¬†Mariah Carey, our friendship status would have changed to “its complicated” based on my continued sexual pursuit.

HAPPY 30TH BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I LOVE YOU, WHEEZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Making friends likened to dating?

I read this post by FatMumSlim last night and I have to admit that it made me feel a little bit sad and a giant bit homesick.

I have been living in the state that I’m in on and off since I was 15. I moved here indefinitely when I was 23 which is almost 9 years ago now (holy wow, time really does fly). I had all intentions of moving to the metro part of Melbourne. Back then I was a city girl who spent as much time as possible hanging out in the city. I hung out with my friends almost every night and was rarely at home. I loved being social more than I cared to admit, actually.

When I moved here all my friends lived in Melbourne, so naturally I wanted to move close to the city.

Then something changed, I don’t know what … probably a variation of not being able to get my shit together, feeling in a catch 22 situation financially and then deciding I wanted something different to the original plan, who knows, all I know is that I stayed in this regional area.

For good or for bad, I got used to it. Then I met someone who I was with briefly and I began to flirt with the idea of moving closer to the city again, even going so far as looking at property and such, but then we broke up abruptly and I continued to stay entrenched in my job and felt even more tied to the community and region that I live in. I think I had planned in the future to eventually move back to Sydney, but I wasn’t sure how willing I was to commit to that idea after realising Sydney is not the place I remember it to be.

The people are who I remember them to be, but the place is not.

Maybe I’m accustomed to the lifestyle that I have now.

But the friendships thing is something I deeply struggle with. I have good friends, its just that they are all (bar one) so far away. I’m a childless 30 year old woman who finds friendships hard to come by. I’ve made friends through my studies, community ties etc, but … I’ve not found a single person in 9 years that I “click” with the way I have with my Sydney and Melbourne friends. I met my partner 2 years ago and he is someone I consider to be my best friend in many ways, but there’s that huge part of me that burns for female friendship.

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You know, someone who you share private jokes with, who you can just pop in and see on a whim without it having to be planned 14 months ahead of time… Who you can call without worrying you may interrupt (and if you do, its okay). The type of friend you can go out to dinner with and talk about incredibly inappropriate things without judgment. I miss those types of friendships.

Do that type of friendship even exist anymore? I have even unashamedly trawled through community groups, hoping to find something that I can bravely join in order to meet other people — but nope, nothing.

And it is a bit like dating. I remember an experience where I hung out with a girl a few times and felt like, yes! this person is ME! Really, really ME! She LOVES the same things I do, she believes the same things I believe! We are kindred spirits! A friendship that will last ALWAYS!

Uhuh, nope.

It lasted about three more visits and I realised she was strange. She was a giant hypocrite, incredibly judgmental, asked extremely personal questions, loved herself immensely (not in that, Eat Pray Love hippy BS way, but really narcism at its best) and often labeled me as a weirdo openly. And not in that loving kind of way. Oh, and she was kind of obsessed with sex and talking about it, and how hot every one of her sex buddies were. You know, kinda a turn off. Needless to say, I backed off very quickly.

So great if you have children because there is always that commonality and starting point for conversation, but where does a 30 something (give or take) year old childless woman make friends?

If anyone has the answers, let me know. And no, I don’t want to have children just to resolve this issue.

Unqualified Second Hand Embarrassment

I know everyone has done things in their past that they are not proud of. They have gone through phases or patches of crazy where they have acted out or taken action purely to rebel against their parents. I know its easy to look at other people and feel second hand embarrassment — I know for instance, I can’t watch Bridget Jones or the auditions on xFactor because second-hand embarrassment is a real thing.

I went through a period where I thought it was cool and OK to wear a black leather cuff with studs on it. And a silver chain that clipped from the front of my jeans belt loop to the middle back belt loop. I know, I know, thats like a step away from clipping an old Nokia to my belt.

But overall, the things that I did in my late teens and early twenties have gone over pretty well. There were so many things from that period of time that I know I should be incredibly proud of. When I was 17 and 18, I barely left the house. I had one friend (not that I’m complaining) that I saw on a regular basis. I expected her to spend every waking hour with me and goodness forbid if she spent time with other friends (note: I was also incredibly jealous because my other two or so friends lived really far away). I made friends on the Internet– not that this is an issue, because three or four of those girls are still close and current friends around 15 yrs later. I didn’t really leave the house unless I was with a parent or said friend.

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Just one of my friends and I. 15+ years of friendship.

I turned 18 and was tired of sitting on a shelf waiting for something to happen. I had a bunch of pipe dreams, I had inspirations but I wasn’t quite even sure how to make¬†anything come to fruition. So, I did what any normal 18 year old does; jumps on a plane to New York City without any regard for my safety or fear that the person (friend) meeting me on the other end was who she said she would be.

Good news, she was. And I had an adventure. Because I had never great socially (I used to stand around awkwardly. I didn’t even have a phone with me to pretend to be texting), this made me come out of my shell, because I didn’t have a choice but to try to talk to people. I made some friends on that trip (again, some of whom I’m still friends with now) and made one of my childhood fantasies of meeting Michael Jackson come true.

I know, crazy, right? Girl goes to New York City to see Michael Jackson.

One of my mementos.

One of my mementos.

I’m still not ashamed. I still feel pretty proud that I had the guts to go and do something about my dream of going to NYC and seeing my life-long idol. It was an incredibly happy time for me in my life. It was one of the nicest experiences of my life, still to this date.

When I got back, I felt like a social butterfly. I feel like the confidence that that trip bought me was priceless. I made some other new friends when I returned. I still felt awkward and silly, but I got on with things. By the time I was 20, I’d gone from wallflower who never left the house to someone who was never at home.

And then there were more trips. More friends, seeing parts of the world, seeing my idol again and again, sharing memories and laughs and friendships that I’ll always treasure.

My life was a totally fun adventure. I worked to save and saved to travel. I traveled around Australia visiting friends and making new ones and overseas. I had the kind of adventures that some people could only dream of. Of course it was all a little left-of-the-middle, but so what?

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I guess thats why I get so taken-aback when I find out someone is quick to guide me away from talking about any of those moments because they are uncomfortable, or feel second hand embarrassment from my traveling to see someone who brought me a lot of joy and to see the friends that I hadn’t seen for a long time, or another part of the world.

Someone asked me the other day if I still liked Michael Jackson. Answer is, yes. He will always have a very special place within me not only because of all the personal and lovely things he said to build me up as a late teen, but because of his sheer genius. Considering I had been a fan of his since I can remember, it would be stupid to suggest that I’ve simply “lost interest” … he’s dead, that’s unfortunate and heartbreaking and something that I still find hard to reconcile with, but I am not¬†not interested in him.

I am not interested in latest releases, his family, what ‘friends’ and his estate are saying about him now that he is gone — none of that.

But the person glossed over it very quickly because the conversation about some of my past things made the person feel a bit uncomfortable. Why? Its¬†my past. They were¬†my adventures. The person never asked to see my photos, never asked to tell them about any of it — and that’s incredibly unfortunate because I was so giddily happy in that time period that I was always bursting at the seams to talk about my friends and the kind of fun things we did together, the things we talked about (hint: my life did not revolve entirely around my idol, gasp, I actually had other interests) and the actual adventures themselves.

How many people can say Michael Jackson gave them unprodded advice?

No one has the fucking right to feel second-hand embarrassment of my “past”. Oh, and I guess sitting in Australia in the same suburb you were born and raised in going to work back and forth every day with no aim and no joy is a better way to way to live? You’d have preferred that I buried my head in to a boring-ass office job and slogged away saving up a shit wage to not enjoy?

Whatever.

Since I got over the horrors of high school and the emotional damage an entire lifetime of bullying did to me (and I reckon I did pretty well), I began to care so very little of what people thought of my actions and as I get older I begin to care even less. I have nothing to feel ashamed of. I never picked up a cigarette, I’ve never ever tried any type of drug, I’ve never been in any legal issues, I didn’t even get drunk until I was about 25. I never gave my parents any trouble (except premature greying from illness), I always did what I was told. So quite frankly, my past is very mild.

My only regret? I didn’t travel¬†more.

So screw your discomfort with the joy that those years brought me. I have memories to last me a lifetime — and you probably don’t even remember that period, but so very quick to be critical of me. Its unfortunate that I couldn’t share those joyful memories with those who love me because they’re too critical of ‘normal’.

I’ll keep my awesome friends and memories thanks! ūüôā

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California, 2005

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In London with my two gorgeous friends. The last adventure.

 

Our Problems Aren't Everyone Else's…. Unfortunately.

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Some weeks you just wish you were able to bury your head under a pillow and will it to start over, or at least pass as quickly as possible without bothering you for a moment.

This week I’ve managed to cry on about three or four different occasions, which in hindsight were pretty superfluous reasons. I cried on my way home from work monday night, I cried in to my dinner on tuesday night and went to bed having a wet-eye over something else later that night. And then something happens that puts things in to perspective.

Then I cried yesterday because one of my close friends was delivered some awful news which made me come to a few realisations. We can never relax. Both our Mums have been sick in the past with cancer and with every doctors appointment, every lump and bump and oddity in health we panic. Anxiety bleeds in to our lives with every routine check up and for that week previous we will find it hard to sleep or find ourselves praying as we go to sleep, begging almost, for everything to still be ok.

When I was younger and I had some serious surgery, I was at an age where I started to understand mortality. As a result, every 6 month check up had me in the throes of full-fledged anxiety attacks. I could barely deal with it. I remember each time a specialist walked in for his morning check-up, I would stop hearing the doctor jargon, my palms got tingly and my heart rate began to soar. I would panic any time I had to go for an unrelated appointment including a GP. I could¬†never relax. And that anxiety didn’t go away really for at least 7 or 8 years.

And its back again as an adult because of what I’ve dealt with with my Mum. And I know she feels it too. Each time she tells me she has a pain or an ache, we both start to panic. I am probably a lot more rational than she can be because I’m not living in her body, but its very hard to¬†ever relax. Its just something that we have to live with now.

The frustrating thing about it all was that nobody cared. And I don’t mean that as though, “I had no friends, they were all cold bastards who didn’t support me,” because thats absolutely not true. I had great support. My partner who I had only been with for, not even a month (I don’t even think we were officially together), was the best. He was 100% the best support I could have asked for and I will always hold that very close to my heart and aside from him, as he was living it with me, others were able to say, “I’m sorry that you’re going through this” and then move on and their world kept spinning.

It sounds ridiculous and immature and during the time perhaps I acted a little that way, but I felt some days like screaming, “HOW THE HELL IS YOUR WORLD STILL SPINNING??? CAN’T YOU SEE MY MUM IS SICK AND IM SO DEVASTATED!!!”

And it hurt. At the same token, I didn’t want people to feel sorry for me or give me that look of sympathy, but I wanted something.¬†I wanted someone to say the¬†right thing, but as time has gone on I’ve learned that it was an impossible demand that I had as there is¬†never going to be the¬†right thing to say in this situation. Of course people’s world’s are still going to spin, the same way mine has when other people have shared awful, devastating news with me. I’ve felt bad, offered my ear, my prayers and have been sincere in my empathy but have still, essentially got on with my daily life.

If you’re not living it, you’re not seeing it and how can someone ever possibly grasp that pain without living it themselves?

So the other day I was crying because of work-related issues (nothing serious), I was crying because my body image is terrible at the moment and my self-talk is borderline abusive sometimes. I was crying because I missed my partner and I was crying because I have an upcoming cardiologist appointment that I’m anxious about — and again, something that after 30 years you’d think I would have adapted to, but no, I’ll never relax. ¬†Some could be valid tears and the others tears were simply a free for all, a sort of, ‘stacks-on!’ game of problems. Either way, someone else can’t be held accountable for my emotions when they haven’t walked in my footsteps and lived my life in the same way that I can’t be expected to do the same for someone else.

But at least I can support the friend that, in the past, before my Mum was sick, I didn’t understand or know how to. I¬†was one of those people who probably delivered a sincere well-wish and sympathetic thoughts, but walked away in to a world that was still spinning while hers was probably shockingly slowing right down. I don’t feel great that I had to go through what I did to understand, but I can at least now deliver the sentiments and feelings of empathy that I sometimes needed (which she provided to me) and can truly understand.

That’s something… While my world may still be spinning, it doesn’t drift far from my mind…

So this Holy Week, please pray for my friend and her family and also for my Mum and her continued good health and for using the right words to support those who are in need of someone, regardless of their circumstances.

Things Change For The Better.

I’ve always liked that quote that says something along the lines of; “where you are is exactly where you’re supposed to be“.

Sometimes I feel like it seems a bit stupid, especially if you’re in a situation that you don’t like or a situation that was brought on by yourself — but it kind of makes sense to me. Whether or not a situation or season of your life is a result of a bad choice, destiny or fate or your God-given path (or whatever you’d like to call it), it is still a situation that can’t be altered and no amounts of what-ifs can change it, so essentially where you are is where you are meant to be.

In saying all that, sometimes I think back to a decade ago, or just a few years ago and realise that I had absolutely no inkling that my life would be where it is at the moment. This isn’t a bad thing, I don’t have any regrets, but the way I imagined things to go, and the way they actually ended up are two absolute worlds apart.¬†And every now and then, I have a sobering reminder of how you can’t ever plan for anything.

As well as this, there’s that niggling reminder of an awful situation I found myself in for a few years. It wasn’t just the people I had surrounded myself with, but the mental state that I allowed myself to be in; the sadness I felt and the vulnerability that came with it which unfortunately magnetised the wrong people. I used to be the person who everyone relied on, who jumped at the opportunity to do things for other people even if they didn’t deserve my goodness. Perhaps that seems like an egotistical thing to say, but I suppose I eventually got tired of drowning in everyone else’s problems while avoiding my own.

It felt wonderful to be able to breathe, to feel like my heart was free again; of course after I got over my bitterness, which by the way, took awhile as well.

There is such a thing as loving too hard, being¬†too good and being too much of an open-book, entirely. This could sound cynical, but sometimes in life you need to keep others who don’t understand your heart at an arms length because they¬†will take advantage of you.

I closed up shop. I got rid of negativity from my life. I can’t stand negativity. I’m human, I have my jibes at other people, I bitch and I moan, but really I don’t think I would ever truly want to hurt the feelings of another person, regardless of how awful they may have been. Sometimes, I wish I were less that way, but its probably a ‘high-road’ aspect of my personality that I can appreciate. To this day, I even pray for the people who I feel have done the wrong thing by me or who have been awful in general without cause.

Once I got rid of negativity from my life, I was open to new aspects of life. My sadness and despondence over constantly taking on other people’s baggage was gone and I was happier and even though I made myself significantly less available to others and maybe slightly more cynical, I felt better for it. I felt less negative about myself, saw friends for what they were and some, what they were not and started focusing on sorting out what¬†I wanted and needed.

I needed distance.

I wanted to be loved instead of always feeling as though I was only ever giving it out to everyone around me.

I needed someone to be there for me sometimes rather than always being there for others.

Its over now, that part of my life. I’ve left some friendships behind and forged others. I have found love, I have which friends stand the test of time and trial. I have found freedom. I have found the distinction between being a supportive friend and an emotional crutch. I found a career instead of hearing about everyone else’s. I found success in my own goals and ideas. I have inspiration. I have new loving people in my life as well as focusing on the existing ones that were beneficial to my own well-being.

And I don’t feel down much anymore.

I certainly don’t cry very often and that’s a relief. Crying sucks. I’m generally less emotional.

But during that time, I was exactly where I was meant to be. I would probably not be able to see the blessings that I have in my life now without knowing the hurting and the pain.

Where I am now is where I never dreamed to be, nor am I with who I dreamed to be with – but my reality, and the company in my reality is more amazing than any dream.