Signed By Sez has moved!

Greetings to all of my 20 something readers!

I know I have been very MIA lately, but it is for good reason, Signed By Sez now has a new online home and it is ready to be unveiled!

Please join my community over at the new digs at http://signedbysez.com/ 

There is still the same attitude and thoughts on being a 20 something, filled with sarcasm, style and a lot of laughs.

I would love it also if you could join me on the Face Book at https://www.facebook.com/signedbysez?ref=hl 

As always I would love to hear your thoughts on the new site, the posts and anything else you might want to share – I am all ears!

Thank you for being loyal with me on the wordpress platform, but for Signed by Sez it is now onward and upward!

Much love and till later

Sez xx

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Why I’m Slowing Down on Full Steam Ahead

Credit: Cas Cornelissen

Credit: Cas Cornelissen

This year has been a little mental.

Even though only half of the year has passed, my head has been swimming in a vortex of emotions, drowning in the good, the bad and the entire spectrum in between.

To begin the year, my relationship entered a completely new phase after choosing to go long distance, forcing me to dig deeper into myself to find the independence and strength to adjust. A few months ago I also lost a very dear family member to the quick rollercoaster of cancer which railroaded us all before we even had time to catch our breathes. Amongst this, my professional life was at times running my life and after having my limbs torn in a thousand directions I made a stand before my brain exploded.

But of course with all of the bad comes the bold and the beautiful. I have been lucky enough to experience 2 overseas holidays in these first 6 months alone that left me delirious and humble and so high on life that I found myself smiling stupidly at strangers on the street who were wondering which closest institution I had escaped from.

With all of this action both good and bad, being squeezed into a matter of months, my brain did the only thing it could do at the time to cope: I went into auto-pilot. I kept waking up each day, with a different feeling but with the same intention to simply keep on keeping on. Instead of taking the moment to process life and the craziness around me, I was full blast on the auto-pilot switch and crossing my fingers that with sheer luck I wouldn’t dive straight into the ocean.

Now that I’m back from my latest travelling escapades to Vietnam (blog post to come on that soon!) and faced with the hangover of emotions from these last few months and the mound of unaccomplished goals I listed at the beginning of the year. Strangely though, I am feeling uncomfortable about getting all “head down bum up” in it and going at life like the Tassie devil, all flying appendages and slobbering tongue.

Instead this post is my promise to calm my own farm and take things one at a time. There is no Olympic medal for how many things I can cross of the to-do list (although the anal organiser that lives inside of me would totally OWN that event) and no extra rewards for those who finished first but decidedly half-assed.

I am channeling advice from my Mum (who annoyingly like the adage is always right) and remembering that if you are going to do something do it properly. This is the philosophy, along with buy less books online, I want to take into the second half of this year.

So here’s me changing the pace up a little and taking it one foot in front of the other. I sincerely hope this will reflect in the quality of my professional work, the time and effort I give to the relationships with my family and friends and to the thoughts I share with you my beloved 20 something community. So cheers to the tortoise over the hare, to enjoying the slower things in life and ending up with the sunbeams of happiness shining out of your face.

Or something equally corny like that.

Has the abrupt arrival of July caused you to re-evaluate how you are tackling your 20’s and the struggles/joys happening everyday? I’d love to hear what lessons you have learnt!

Much love and till later

Sez xx

10 Millenial Trends 90’s Children Don’t Understand

Credit: Pawel Kadysz

Credit: Pawel Kadysz

The 90’s were awesome. As a child of the 90’s, I am therefore awesome by association. What is not awesome is what is happening to our world and how 90’s children are baffled by what is now “cool”. We should just put ourselves in a coma for 15 years and hope the outlook is less bleak when we wake up.

Here’s my top 10 Millenial Trends 90’s Children Don’t Understand

10. Rhianna and Chris Brown.

I wasn’t allowed to watch Powerangers because it was deemed too violent but suddenly it is ok to openly accept a famous person’s alleged assault of a woman? And then it’s cool to just go and buy a ticket to his next world tour?

9. Age Appropriate Films.

With the uprising of “tweenage” films eg: Twilight and Hunger Games, no wonder children these days have despondent views of society. Do they go to bed hoping to marry a vampire or dream they will be chosen to single handedly slaughter 12 kids with a pair of nunchucks? What ever happened to wholesome family entertainment?

8. Language.

Or lack of it. Since when did it become ok to form a 10 word sentence with 4 syllables? “That shit is totes cray, I’m defs going to have a go at the sluz”. I find myself hearing whispering of this strange language as I wander the world; mostly I just want to shove a dictionary down their throats.

7. Overpriced Gifts.

“Oh we bought little Jimmy an iPad for Christmas, we got him an iPod and a Wii last year. Oh and yes he’s 6”. Sometime between when I was growing up in the early 90’s and now, children have brainwashed their parents into spending exorbitant amounts on gifts. The size of the gift once mattered but now all they want to know is did it come from Apple and did Santa leave the receipt in case they don’t like the colour.

6. Kindle.

I would encourage you to go to this magical place called a Library. It will require you to leave the comfort of your ass on the couch but you might find it an enlightening experience. Enid Blyton would roll over in her grave under the magical wishing tree if she knew.

5. Politically Correct Education.

As a 5 year old, I was already developing dangerous racial tendencies. I sang about black sheep, how Humpty was smashed into a million pieces and I even once took my Golliwog to school. I will walk myself to Death Row thank you very much.

4. Technology Overload.

These days the typical household has 4 TV’s, 4 mobile phones, 2 Tablets, 2 iPods and a Partridge in a Pear Tree. I’m sure if we did a survey children of today would rather die than have to SHARE one television like we used to. And don’t even get me started on the fact we didn’t have a computer until I was 9…

3. Selfies.

Photographs are not a new thing. I had my grandpa’s old film camera and would take pictures of my girlfriends and I are at birthday parties, after winning the sports carnival or on the last day of school. We did not however pose barely clothed in front of bathroom mirrors taking photos of ourselves claiming we’re #hot and we #dontcare

2. Google.

It is a beautiful thing, it cannot be denied, but disappointingly not hugely interactive. Yes ok they make funny games on the homepage every now and then but does that even hold a candle to Where in The World is Carmen San Diego or Microsoft Encarta?

1. YOLO. Enough said.

Which of these are you the most baffled by? Do you have any other thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!

Much love and till later

Sez xx

 

3 Realities You Will Face in Your First Job and What To Do About Them

Credit: Aleks Dorohovich

Credit: Aleks Dorohovich

Starting a new job is a melting pot of emotions.

You’re nervous but stoked to actually have a job that pays you money. You spent a week selecting the perfect outfit and you have memorised your bus route to get there.

So what should you expect? Here are my top three realities you will face in your first job and what to do about them.

1. You will be the bottom of the food chain
The first to be given the photocopying, the first to shout after work drinks and the last to be told anything. This isn’t university, you gotta start from the bottom and strap on your climbing shoes.

Yes the bottom of the ladder is cold and dark and kinda smells but this is the perfect place for one thing: mistakes. Mistakes are essential to the development of any 20 something’s career and this is the best time to make them, when your down a dark hole and only a few people will notice. Climbing up the rungs of your career will not only get you smell free but will also put you in the spotlight the higher and higher you climb. Do yourself a favour and make all of your f**k ups now. You will want to learn from them later when the eyes of the Executive Board are on you.

2. You have to go every day. For 8 hours
My average day at university was 4 hours. Maybe 5 or 6 and then 14hrs before final exams. This did not prepare me AT ALL for the physical and mental stamina it takes getting your butt through a full working week. The first few weeks, I walked around in a daze, confused about how to keep this up for 40 years and spending nights eating microwaved food and going to bed at 8:00pm.

The flip side of this employment train that never seems to stop? It is preparing you for when you’ll need to stay behind 3 hours to meet that deadline or close that deal. It will give you a background in work ethic that is arsenal for shooting up the career ladder. I’m not suggesting the best 20 something workers stay back 4 hours every night, but it take GUTS to advance your career and a good work ethic certainly helps.

3. Virtually nothing of what you learnt at university is useful
This came to me as an epiphany when I first started work and realised I knew pretty much nothing. Luckily, I had done some work experience and internships during university, because the theoretical aspects taught me next to nothing. The real world is very different outside of the classroom and this can be overwhelming and kick your confidence in the balls (as if you weren’t feeling scared enough being the newbie!).

Here is the good news though, you will never reach a point in your career where you know less. Once you have mastered some key skills, things seem more manageable. Of course you will be constantly tackling new obstacles, but with a foundation of essential knowledge, things flow a lot easier and you will be more confident. I promise!

Have you encountered any of these realities in your first job? Was there a different one that struck you the most? Let me know in the comments below!

Much love and till later

Sez xx

10 Realities of Long Distance Relationships

Credit: Caleb George Morris

Credit: Caleb George Morris

After spending 6 months in a long distance relationship, I’ve learnt a thing or two about how they work and how to approach them. Through my experimentation I’ve found it best if you treat them like a snake. They can be wickedly dangerous if you are aggressive towards them, or they simply lounge around your neck and shoulders, the picture of calm, until they snap and strangle you to death.

On that happy note, I want to explore 10 realities of long distance relationships I wish I had been privy to 6 months ago.

10. You will spend a lot of money on stamps. And the lady at your local post office will remember your name and yes it will be embarrassing. 

9. You will suddenly have a gaping hole in your social life that can be filled with fantastic new hobbies to improve your life. I suggest baking, bocce or learning Danish. 

8. Skype is the greatest invention ever created (even topping sliced bread) and if I ever meet the person who launched this amazingness, they will be getting a massive hug.

7. You will hear a lot about places you have never been to, people you haven’t met and things you haven’t seen. Best to just nod and pretend like you know what they are on about. 

6. Get used to attending all of your social engagements as the third wheel. Or fifth wheel. Or god forbid seventh wheel (seriously wouldn’t recommend it) 

5. You will actually eat better and get your butt to the gym without the lure of the warm arms and sexy voice coming from the bed “Ugh don’t go workout, it’s Sunday morning! Let’s stay in and have bacon and maple syrup!”. Your hips will thank you. 

4. Prepare your “I’m really ok face” for the dozens of times a day you will be asked how you are “coping” with the long distance. It is sweet they show interest and care about your feelings but come one we don’t have leprosy.

3. You will collect enough frequent flyers to get to the moon and back. And the lady at the airport Cibo remembers you every time. And yes it is embarrassing.

2. You can’t watch a whole TV series together over a weekend but can watch it simultaneously and call each other after something dramatic happens (OMG he threw Zoe in front of a train! House of Cards spoiler alert!)

1. Some mornings it is easy and you feel proud for committing to this task. Some mornings you want to crawl under the bed and never come out again. But each day you remind yourself why you are doing it and hopefully of the moment when you can be together in the same state/town/room once more.

Are you going through long distance at the moment? Do you have another reality you would like to add to the list?

Much love and till later

Sez xx

Stubborn 20 Somethings and Why We Need To Stop

Credit: Slywia Bartyzel

Credit: Slywia Bartyzel

Ask any member of society to describe 20 somethings in one word and you will get a smattering of responses. Some that might come to mind: overconfident, innovative, entrepreneurial, spoiled and unnaturally obsessed with whatever YOLO stands for.  One thing we definitely have become though is a race of 20 something samurai ninjas specialising in stubbornness. From an early age we have been taught if you want something there is: a) no reason why you shouldn’t get it as long as you work hard and b) no one who can tell you you don’t deserve it. Both a) and b) are great motivators for us “can do kids” but the thing that really keeps our eye on the goal is our ability to be stubborn like no other generation.

For the aforementioned alphabetised reasons, being stubborn is great. In fact it’s better than great, it is one of the key factors behind the success of 20 somethings and their ability to get shit done and achieve incredible things. However, stubbornness is a cruel master sometimes and can be used for evil instead of good, and this is where we need to lose it.

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been involved in a long distance relationship. It’s the same old story, someone moves away for their job and both parties are confident love can continue to blossom from 14 hours away. I am still convinced I have made the right decision by staying behind to follow my goals and have a memorised line that I tell anyone who’ll ask why I choose to do it (“well you see it wasn’t really in line with my plan and I don’t want to be tied to a boy, I am a female hear me roar, etc, etc). Except now the only person who is starting to doubt the line is me.

I was so concerned about sticking to my guns and being firm in my original opinion that I was not so subtly shutting down anything which didn’t sit with my party line. But sitting on a plane taxing off the Canberra tarmac this morning on a freezing Monday, it did occur to me stubbornness can be a friend and a foe. Was I gaining anything from being closed to any other idea of what path our relationship could go down? In 20 years from now when I was potentially divorced and alone would I look back proudly and think “well it might not have been the right decision but at least I stuck to my word”. Instead, I’d most likely be kicking myself in the ass for being an idiot.

20 somethings are notoriously proud creatures. We have worked hard for the privileges we have been given and we are out there to prove we are worthy. We face an uphill battle everyday to convince the world we’re not represented by Miley Cyrus’s interesting choice in musical sexual innuendo but rather that we are deserving of a chance to make our voice heard.

But while I too take my placard out with me everyday and fight for the rights of 20 somethings to be taken seriously, perhaps there are a couple of battles I am willing to be more flexible on – battles that perhaps could have a profound effect on my life if I wasn’t so blind enough to notice. 

So does this mean I’ll be packing up my car and moving to be with the BF? For the meantime no way (hmmm that ruins the fairy tale ending to this post doesn’t it) but I definitely have rethought my position on the issue and am open to further discussion. I like this new side of me and hope it might extend to other areas of my life. Just not home decorating, choice of pets or automobile selection. Lord knows there is no way I am compromising on a VW Golf for the family car. I mean we could have a year long trip around the world with the money he wants to spend on the sport club thing. Somebody needs to keep his priorities in order!!! 

Has there been a time when you were stubborn for the sake of being stubborn and realised you weren’t actually benefiting from your strong standpoint? Let me know in the comments below.

Much love and till later

Sez xx

5 Ways To Spring Clean Your Finances This June….And Other Working Girl Sagas

Credit: Vadim Sherbakov

Credit: Vadim Sherbakov

This Wednesday’s Working Girl Saga I’m looking at money. Pounds, dollars, yen, whatever you call it it makes the world go around and is the sole reason we put up with Candy the world’s most incompetent receptionist.

Every year around this time I have a little freakout about the state of my finances and wrack my brain on how to fill in my tax return again. Yes it’s sad and pathetic but it is a vicious cycle I am trying to get out of. Starting now.

So here’s the 5 things I’m committing to doing this June to improve the organisation of my finances. Well by appearances at least.

1. Go to the bank

Ok so not a difficult task but as soon as you start a real grown up job where you actually have to attend 8 hours a day or you will get fired (Toto we’re not at university anymore) it is hard. You end up working through your lunch break or cancel on your bank date in favour of Tuesday afternoon drinks. Seriously though just do it. Go and cash the cheques that have gathering in your purse, or deposit your piggy bank or enquire about that high savings account. It’s like going to the gym, you will feel better for it afterwards and you won’t get nearly as sweaty!

2. Review your direct debits

Over the years I had accrued quite a few direct debits that have been secretly coming out of my account and bleeding my wealth (not that you can really call $5.00 wealth). My half of the internet every month, the fortnightly rent, my gym membership, the girl’s week away to Koh Samui. It all adds up. Have 16 pairs of coloured nikes but none of them have actually seen a gym floor? Cancel your membership. Could you pay off the holiday out of your next pay and just go a little skint for a week or so? Get your butt to the travel agent. Consider saving up and paying your car insurance and registration in one lot as well. You do not want you bank statement be harder to decipher than Charlie Sheen’s marriage history.

3. Become a paperwork demon

A couple of years ago I bought a crappy second hand filing cabinet for $30 and crammed all of my paperwork in it. Step one done. Then a few months later I actually got down to organising it all and now it has saved me HOURS of searching under my bed and ringing the bank saying “Yes I did get that letter about my account being overdrawn… but I think my dog ate it?’. It’s tedious, and kinda frightening to see how many categories of paperwork you will have but trust me, just do it. You will feel so much better afterwards.

4. Get help

Not of the psychotherapy kind but from a finance professional. The older we get, the more “Financy Stuff” is relevant to us and no longer can I rely on filling out my tax return based on the sections that I understand. With buying houses and making more money comes mortgages, term deposits and all sorts of other jargon that sends some of our skin crawling. Do yourself a favour and get a friend who understand this stuff to help you. Or as a last resort as your parents. I know, it’s drastic and there will probably be an accompanying lecture of some kind but they will have good advice. I mean they’re old, they know about these adult stuff right?

5. Superman!

Last year I changed jobs and accumulated yet another superannuation account. Once I realised I had more of them then I did high heels, I knew I had to do something about it. After too much paperwork and a little going back and forth between old employers I combined ALL of my accounts into the current one and then commenced a little happy super dance. You will lose SO much money in fees having hundreds of accounts open, and you might not care now, but your future 70 year old self will kick your skinny ass when you can’t afford that 6 speed gopher you have been eyeing off.

Now that we’re feeling jubilant about our finances on the lead up to July 1st let’s celebrate with a little funds related tune. See even finances can be cool!