Christmas Contemplations

How do you be a loner? Like. How do you maintain relationships that inevitably require an amount of output that is inconvenient to yourself while also prioritising your own need for isolation and self-care (your own relationship with yourself) as Priority Number One?

When you’re a person who, nine times out of ten, prefers your own company to that of anyone else, how do you let your loved ones know that their demand for your company, attention, and emotional energy is draining you to the point of physical exhaustion and mental instability? How do you reconcile that with your own demands for attention from people whose company you do desire? How do you explain that out of all the interactions you’ve ever engaged in 90% of your mental capacity was devoted to meeting the expectations of the other party for fear of offending them or hurting their feelings or having to engage in an exhausting discussion about a basic difference in taste? (And because you’ve developed a survival mechanism that forces you to subconsciously mirror the people you spend time with and give them the reactions they want so that they’ll like you, but you know, how do you explain any survival mechanism developed from traumatic conditioning without sounding like you’re playing the victim and making excuses for yourself?) Why is it that, despite my not wanting to be around other people all the time, I still want to share exciting news with as many people as possible?

Would it be rude or in any way unreasonable to develop a manual to help users better understand my operating system? That way, whenever I meet a new person or come across a persistent misunderstanding with an old companion, I can simply direct them to the manual and they can learn what they’re doing wrong and determine what input I require for best operating experience. I just feel like this would help to clear up so many misconceptions about myself that I’ve never been able to articulate because I didn’t want to seem selfish or demanding, or hurt anybody’s feelings because I can’t make them understand that my wanting to be left alone has exactly nothing to do with them and everything to do with my own requirement for isolation and private reflection to “recharge my batteries”, as it were.

And this concludes my Christmas contemplations for the year. I’ve learned a little more about myself, gained something of an understanding regarding what I want from life, and am now faced with a new personal project in self-care and relationship management. When all I really wanted was cash and weed. Go figure.

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Conversations with friends reveal more than expected.

Welcome to the Hustle

What Beyoncé said is right: ladies, it ain’t easy being independent. I’m a single female, in my early 20s, living on my own in the big city. Well, actually I’m about an hour and a half on public transport from the big city, so that’s less impressive. I’m single because I chose to be when I decided to move from my home town, and I live on my own because I’m stubborn and insist on doing everything in the most difficult way possible. I’m finding that young-adulthood isn’t as fun as I thought it would be when I was 12. It’s hard, and stressful, and exhausting, and downright depressing. It feels like everything is a constant struggle, and I know that I’m not the only one experiencing this phenomenon, but I feel like I great number of 12 – 18 year old girls probably still have the same fantasies about life that I had at their age, and I know that there are plenty of older people who have either forgotten what it’s like, or never had to face the same struggles and don’t realise what’s going on with this generation. That being said, I have decided to devote this blog to providing an inside account of (barely) surviving life in your early 20s.

I suppose a little background would be appropriate and provide some context so here we go. I’m 22 years old, from Townsville, Queensland – I lived there my whole life and have never travelled further from my house than Brisbane, which is where I moved to in May this year. I made the choice to move to Brisbane after spending a three week holiday here in February when my best friend had her baby. As soon as I met this wonderful, little boy I knew that I couldn’t watch him grow up in pictures, and so when I got back to Townsville I told my boyfriend, who refused to move, and handed in my resignation at work. The boyfriend handled things very admirably, and we discussed the matter at length – I admitted that I didn’t actually want him to move with me, I had been thinking about ending the relationship for a long time – and we’ve remained close friends. A week after I moved my terminally ill Nana passed away, so I returned to Townsville to take care of the family for a few weeks. I had no savings when I moved to Brisbane in the first place, and what little money I did have was spent on the flights back to Townsville. Mum supported me for the three weeks I stayed there, but when I returned to Brisbane, with no job and no Centrelink payments I was truly fucked. I spent every day applying for jobs, I signed up with two different employment agencies, I applied for Centrelink and joined with one of their employment agencies as well, but for weeks I had less than no money; I couldn’t even pay rent where I was staying at my friend’s house. It felt like complete shit, and was probably the lowest point in my life so far. By the end of July I got a job, and in August I moved into my own place in a wonderful suburb called Slacks Creek. I had some people come to deliver furniture and when they discovered that I was living by myself in this suburb they were horrified and urged me to leave as soon as possible. This made me feel super relaxed and secure during the weeks that I lived here without my dogs, listening to various domestic disputes in my street. I have only the bare essentials in my house, having not been able to afford to transport my belongings from Townsville, or to buy new furniture. I own a fridge, washing machine, mattress and two bedside tables. One of the delivery people stopped by and gave me a box full of useful stuff like blankets, towels, sheets, cutlery, pots, etc. which I was/am super grateful for because it has saved me a lot of discomfort.

I suppose that about brings you up to speed – there have been a lot of absurd, hilarious, shitty events throughout the past six months, however they’re all stories for another time. This has been the official introduction to/explanation of my blog, stay tuned for more.

A Brief Introduction to Brutus & Murder

Earlier this evening I came up with a decent idea for a post about my two dogs – Brutus and Murder – but, as usual, nothing has gone to plan and I’ve run out of time to construct anything that could do justice to the topic. Of course, it is partially their fault that I don’t have time to get things done. I spent the majority of my night trying to clean up the mess that they had created for me while I was out at dinner last night – it was a spur-of-the-moment decision to go out with a friend, so I forgot to shut any of the doors in my house before I left. My dogs recently shattered my back door, so I can’t lock them out when I leave and I compromise by shutting the doors to my bedroom, the toilet and the bathroom, where their favourite things to destroy are kept, such as: makeup brushes, facial wipes, shampoo bottles, bras, pyjama pants, blankets, toilet paper, shoes, towels, sheets… I could go on. Usually when they destroy something it’s a mild inconvenience, other times it’s just plain cruel.

Like last night, for instance, when they decided to rip open my feather-down pillow. I had no idea that a feather-down pillow was so full. My entire living room is now covered in fluffy, white feathers – it looks like a Winter Wonderland scene, only infinitely more depressing. I didn’t even know where to begin with trying to clean it all up – I don’t own a vacuum, or even a real bin – and I was too tired to contemplate a more efficient solution than crawling around for what could be hours, packing fistfuls of feathers into a plastic bag. So I went to bed last night without even considering making an attempt to clean it all up, and I chose to continue to ignore it before work this morning. On the way home from work today I agreed to sell my old iPad and arranged for the buyer to come around to my place at about 7:15pm to pick it up, which worked perfectly with my routine. Then, of course, 7:15 comes and goes, and there’s no sign of them – there’s a storm forecast for tonight, and it had started raining a little by this time, so I didn’t think it unreasonable that they be a bit late. By 7:30 I still hadn’t seen them, but was sure they couldn’t be far off. I decided to kill some time and sort out my downloads, but by 7:45 they still hadn’t shown up, or text to say that they were going to be late. I had put off going for a shower until after the transaction and thanks to spending the time before our scheduled appointment cleaning up after my dogs, and this person’s complete lack of punctuality, I wasn’t able to go for a shower until 8:00. I was too exhausted to wash my hair last night, so I had to wash it tonight, which means showering takes longer, and I had wanted to straighten it as well since tomorrow is Friday and I like to feel special on Fridays. I also knew that I still had to at least post something today, or risk failing the NaBloPoMo challenge twice within the first week, and I was (and still am) determined to watch an episode or two of Parks and Recreation before bed. After all the buttfuckery of this evening I was forced to cancel/reschedule at least one of my three “tasks” for the evening, and since I refuse to fail NaBloPoMo, and I really love Parks and Rec, straightening my hair has been tentatively re-booked for tomorrow morning.

And all of this can be traced back to the fact that Brutus and Murder just can’t help but destroy everything I own and make my life as difficult as possible. And really, that’s a perfect summary of what to expect from the upcoming record of life with these two.

Did I mention that it was my only pillow?