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

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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

 

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

My Life is Amazing… BUT….a 20 Something #firstworldproblem

Credit: Ben Moore

Credit: Ben Moore

We live in a society of buts. Not not big ones that can’t lie but the act of ending every sentence with something negative. I met Hugh Jackman, but I really wanted to meet Zac Efron instead. I lost 3 kilos this week, but my eyebrows are so weirdly shaped. You get the idea.

And today I found myself committing this terrible sin and sharing with a friend all of my awfully pathetic #firstworldproblems. This is a little of how our conversation went.

HER: Wow so are you excited for Vietnam?

ME: Yeah totally! But I’ve got so many things to do, organise my visa, put some cash on my travel card, renew my gym membership and I don’t have any time this weekend because the BF is taking me on a romantic long weekend away to Sydney to wine and dine and see The Lion King. Like when am I going to find time to pack? Ugh I’m so stressed.

Seriously, I wanted to punch myself in the face.

But the first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one. So my name is Sarah and I cannot just be grateful and full present soaking in the incredible life I have at the moment and the opportunities available to me. And this needs to change.

20 somethings are the king of #firstworldproblems (like we actually invented the term) and I can see why. Unfortunately, in this world of dog eat dog, it is not seen as “cool” to just sit and bask in your own awesomeness. You always need to be seen as busy, or frantically working to solve world hunger, or pumping out an RPM class and completing War and Peace at the same time. Don’t worry I have been there, I am as driven as the next person, but am realising it is coming at the cost of watching my current achievements whoosh past my nose faster than Kim Kardashians first wedding (and let’s face it probably second).

So my advice? When you get asked how are things going in your life just say it how it is. If you have been kicking awesome goals at work, smashed your 5km time at the gym or had the perfect girls weekend away just say it. There is no need for embellishments about how you’re totally not ready for a marathon though, or that you should have spent that girls weekend working on your home business. Just let it come out and not be squashed by the negatives. It’s like that ad for Bam Shower Scrub: BAM! And the Buts Are Gone!

So on that note, let me know in the comments if you are guilty of this sometimes and what you do to try and keep the butts at bay.

Much love and till later

Sez xx

20 Somethings: Confident or Cocky?

Image

Credit: Wojtek Witkowski

We’ve all seen The Social Network and know the story of Mark Zuckerberg, who created Facebook, made a whole lot of enemies and basically took over the world. Some people are disgusted by his ruthless tactics and unrelenting drive, while others lie awake at night wishing they themselves had the power to harness even a little of those qualities.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on what side of the fence you sit on, the Mark Zuckerbergs of our 20 something generation have infected us all with their characteristics, causing the wider public to question: 20 somethings, confident or cocky? 

To understand why we are the way we are, we need to delve back into our pasts and see the key messages 20 somethings were taught as we grew up. They of course vary in language and syntax but go a little something like this:

1. “You are special and unique and have a rare gift the share with the world”

2. “You can be anything you want to be when you grow up, all you have to do is dream”

3. “All people big and small, from different lands and colours should all be considered equal”

4. “If you don’t eat the crusts of your bread your hair will go curly and you mustn’t get up out of bed on Christmas Eve night or Santa won’t come”.

You get the drift.

After absorbing these messages day in and day out being rewarded emotionally, physically, spiritually and even financially for following these guidelines, the glaringly confident 20 something was born. Prepare your sunnies for these ones folks. 

Fast forward 20 years and the fruits of having such an attitude is totally paying off. We’ve gone through further education or have worked our way up the workplace ladder at lightening speed. We have a good group of friends, and are quick to dump those that aren’t and know we look smokin in this season’s new Wayne Cooper. We don’t just pick up any old guy on Friday night and consult our 10 point “dream man list” before starting the “so where are we going conversation”. Ultimately, in all facets of our lives we know what we want, and are prepared to go out and get it. Right. Now.

Is this cocky? Conceited? The habits of a spoiled brat whose parents bought her too many Barbies? I’m going to go out on a limb and say no. We’ve simply learnt a life lesson that has been around for centuries but seems to have been forgotten in prior generations plagued by war, depression and domestic duties: you don’t get anything in life unless you think you deserve it. That is definitely not to say 20 somethings aren’t prepared to work hard or are ignorant of the obstacles life can throw, but more so that despite the challenges we are supremely confident in our ability to one day get there.

Confidence can be confused with cockiness when combined with a little toxin called jealousy. The only time I’ve accused a fellow 20 something of being cocky is when I’ve been jealous that I wasn’t confident enough in that situation to go out there and grab life by the balls myself. If you don’t think you are good enough for that job/promotion/world travel/handsome husband or elite athlete children then how do you expect anyone else to think you are worthy? And if you don’t have sincere confidence to reach for goals past your fingertips then what are you even doing here?

Sure we are confident, some would call us cocky. But with Mark Zuckerberg now worth 30 million dollars, that is a title we are happy to carry around. 

Do you think some confidence is necessary to overcome obstacles in life? Is there a particular instance where it has proven to be a key to your success?

Much love and till later

Sez xx

10 Life Lessons Your University Education Taught You That You Don’t Realise

Credit: Craig Garner

Credit: Craig Garner

Your university years are a unique experience filled with knowledge, life long friends and way too many vodka redbulls. But now you’re out in the workforce and arrived at the realisation that 99% of what you learnt was irrelevant to real life industry, you’re feeling a little disappointed in the huge amount of cash you spent that should have been used to buy a boat. Or a lot of Louboutins.

Never fear however, your time and hard earned money did not all go to waste – here are 10 life lessons which made it all worth the while.

1. You realise a Vice Chancellor is now a boss of a university and not the subordinate of some member of the Royal family. Although you’re still not sure why the Vice Chancellor gets to call all the shots – where is the Chancellor?

2. You carefully mastered the skill of appearing awake and taking notes in lectures while either a) napping or b) stalking your ex bestie on FB, or c) trying to list the justifying reasons in your head as to why you got out of bed for this 9am lecture

3. The only more disastrous outcome than getting a Friday 4pm tutorial is impending death by guillotine and you therefore found some deep down organisational skills when enrolment came around to avoid such a catastrophe

4. You have developed an uncanny ability to measure the quality, price and approximate queue length of all the coffee shops within a 2km radius of the university campus

5. You can now explain the intricate rules and skillset required to play ultimate frisbee and futsal even though you previously thought they were close relatives of Quidditch. Oh but wait you now know that is a real game as well so the trifecta is complete.

6. You can tell to the glass, the exact amount of alcohol that can be consumed the night before an important presentation to ensure your stress is masked but you can still stand up straight and remember your name

7. You have learned the two most dreaded words in the English language: group assignment

8. You have become a gambling man and know that the ratio is 50:50 as to whether you will have studied the right stuff for your exam and you will not know the outcome of these odds until you, with a dread filled heart, turn over that exam paper

9.You realise you have to work five extra years to set your children up with a great life and a beautiful house with a picket fence because you spent all of your money on textbooks

10. You will realise, only once it’s over, that your university years were probably the best of your life and now you are one of those old boring people that goes to work everyday. Ugh surely it is only down from here!

What did you learn from your university experience? Are there some things you wish you could unlearn? Comment below lovelies!

Much love and till later
Sez xx

Why 20 Somethings Are The New “Blondes” and How to Fight the Stereotype

Credit: Daniel Robert Dinu

Credit: Daniel Robert Dinu

It’s joke time! How you do keep a 20 something busy for 2 days? Give them a piece of paper that has “please turn over” written on both sides. How did the 20 something die at the baseball game? They drowned during the Mexican wave!

Not giggling yet? Didn’t think so. 20 somethings have become the butt of other peoples jokes. I mean come on, they are now lumping us in the with blondes; we must take action!

There have been times when my age has given me grief and I’m pretty fed up. I’ve lost count of the number of workplaces where I’ve been the youngest and had to face questions like “are you sure you’re not in High School?” and “are you even old enough to drink coffee?”

I’m lucky now to be in a work environment filled with other driven 20 somethings and with safety in numbers we are finally receiving the respect and consideration we deserve.

But if you’re stuck in your cubicle being teased about your lack of knowledge of world politics (seriously though, just watch the news) or being asked to do the lunch run yet again because you are the “most sprightly”, try these three tips to stop the stranglehold of age discrimination and stand alongside your colleagues as an equal.

 

1. Gain inspiration from those who have already paved the way for us

Girl power is not a new phenomenon but is personified in these kick ass girls, who refuse to let their age dictate their dreams. There’s Adele, with the hilarious cockney accent but angelic voice, who refuses to be a size 0 and when interviewed sounds like an understudy from Oliver. Next we have Jessica Rudd who was thrust into the political spotlight in her early twenties thanks to her father dearest Kevin 07. Now she is a successful writer and journalist and a great thinker in her own right. Lastly, there is J Lawrence, who got knocked back from Twilight by Kirsten Stewart (whose face would actually crack if she smiled) and fell over in front of half of the world at the Oscars and just laughed it off. 

 

2. Show up and do the work

Though it hurts me to say, there are those out there in the job world waiting for us to fail. They think our inexperience deems us unworthy of achievements before we’ve earned them and we should wait in line like everyone else. 20 somethings are a lot of things, but patient is not one of them. In order to stand up and be noticed you have to put your work where your mouth is. That is don’t give them a reason to doubt you. Show up early, be attentive, go above and beyond and show them without a shadow of a doubt that you belong there. Own it girl. Not in your personality to be aggressive? Channel Lady Gaga (minus the meat dress), this always works for me! 

 

3. Share the quarterlife love

So your list of skills might be shorter than some of your colleagues, and you haven’t been to as many conferences or bought in as many clients. But you have hidden skills you don’t even realise that can be leveraged to get you in with the water cooler crowd quicker than you can list what Paris Hilton is famous for (hint: nothing). Have a colleague struggling with their “i” device? Lend them a hand. Volunteer to start up your company’s social media presence, and give a couple of Facebook 101 lessons. If that fails, putting yourself out there to offer advice can definitely pay off. No your 23 year old daughter would prefer the Arctic Monkey’s album over Mariah Carey’s Greatest Hits and Finders Keepers is a fashion label and not a new board game.

 

So what’s the takeaway message? Embrace your age, you’ll never be this young again but you shouldn’t have to remain at the bottom of the food chain until those at the top wither away and die (graphic but true). Use this advice to crack through the assumptions that 20 somethings are immature and too daft to be put in charge of anything “important” and show up everyday with an attitude of self love. Remember, if you don’t believe in your talent it will be twice as hard to convince someone else. Slip on those stilettos and strut it out girls. I know without them, the vertically challenged me would still be mistaken for a Year 10. 

Much love and till later

Sez xx