Showing posts with label personal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label personal. Show all posts
Tuesday, 10 October 2017

My Mental Health Journey Thus Far


I never thought that I would still be alive at this age. In fact, there was a point when I believed that I wouldn't see my 22nd birthday. But here I am today and it has been a long and tough journey.

My struggle with depression started during my final years of high school. It was as though a switch was flicked on; at the time the difference between 'before' and 'after' was so distinct. I never fully understood why or what had changed within. But I was changed.

It will get better once I finish high school.
It will get better once I get into university.
It will get better once I go on exchange.
It will get better once I finish university.
It will get better once I get an internship.
It will get better once I get a job.
It will get better once I .....

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Finding the Beauty in Simplicity

Untitled

Untitled

It has taken me a while but I have finally learnt to appreciate and enjoy the little and, arguably, mundane things in my life. As much as I want to be adventuring on the weekends, I am now content to spend that time doing routine activities. These activities include, inter alia, grabbing a teh tarik from the food court, helping my boyfriend wash his car and even shopping for groceries to meal prep for the coming week.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Monthly Recap: June


  • The months of June and July are always a bit of an odd period for me. I am usually susceptible to having low and existential moments but it is always a little harder to shake off at this time. I think it is largely because it is the halfway mark of the year and I question if I have achieved anything for the year. It is also exacerbated by the fact it is the anniversary of my mother's death and then I wonder about my own life and my own existence. Death doesn't scare me but what scares me is thinking that I will be on my death bed and realising that my life has amounted to nothing. That I have done nothing and I haven't lived life to the fullest. In comparison to last year, that fear hasn't controlled me as much. As mentioned in my resolutions, I wanted to slow down in 2017 and to accept that every activity that I do doesn't need to be productive and valuable
  • I have been finding it a little hard to do work at work. I am doing enough to get by. But the motivation has been a little hard to come by. My only work friend / colleague resigned earlier this month. Well, she was pushed out effectively. I worry about my own future at the company and if I will pass probation.
  • My trip to Canberra over the long weekend was lovely. I really enjoyed Canberra and think it is actually a beautiful city. Canberra definitely isn't as bad as people say it is. Sure, it may not have as much happening as Sydney, but the things that happen in Sydney aren't exactly up my alley. I would actually love to move out of Sydney at some point to somewhere quieter. But alas, jobs.
  • I am going on a shopping ban for the rest of the year. The only exception to this ban are necessities such as socks, underwear, shampoo, etc. I am not very spend-y overall however I would like to be at a point where I am saving approximately 75% of my pay.
  • As of 2 weeks ago, I've uninstalled my Instagram and would like to maintain this ban for the month of July. I deactivated Facebook a few months ago to curb my mindless scrolling. This was relatively easy as I wasn't an active user. However I really felt that I needed to curb my time on Instagram. I got sucked into and spent so much time scrolling mindlessly / stalking and really want to do something more productive with my time.
How was your June? 
Friday, 2 June 2017

May Update

Work

I have been at my new job for a month now. I don't know where time has gone! Work has been alright. Truth be told, I wasn't very excited about the role during the interview (and also didn't believe I would get the role) and those feelings are still present. But overall it hasn't been that bad. I am not unhappy anymore and I now have a permanent role which also pays more! I also have a work phone - Samsung Galaxy S8 - and I am still trying to learn how to use it. I am still in the awkward phase where I can't type properly and have a trillion typos in all my messages.

I no longer work in the CBD (Central Business District) anymore and surprisingly, I am glad of it. There are a lot less people at my new location which also means less smokers on the footpath and my hair is less likely to reek of cigarette smoke. I only wash my hair once a week (every 5th day) which is why the whole smoking-whilst-walking is an issue for me.

It is likely that I will have an interstate work trip in the next month or so. I am excited! There is something about a free trip and free meals that appeals to me. Now, if I could manage to go on an overseas work trip then I truly will be someone at work. The likelihood of this is incredibly slim ..... 

Travel

Starting a new job is synonymous with one fact - no leave. I don't have leave to go away on a substantial holiday and don't foresee myself doing anything exciting over the Christmas office closures. Namely because it is peak season and therefore very expensive to go overseas and also it will be ultra hot in Australia for domestic travel. Well apart from Tasmania and I vow to never return for leisure.

For the long weekend in June, I will be heading to Canberra (Australia's capital) for 3D / 2N. My last visit was a quick day trip for Floriade and the time before that was for a primary school camp. Everyone tells me that there isn't much to do in Canberra, but I am interested in visiting the arboretum and perhaps going to some monuments and museums.

I will also be going up to Cairns, Queensland in October! My first and only visit was back in 2006/2007 (I can't remember when...) and it was my first proper travel experience; I had to pay for everything out of my own pocket. Back then it was a really big deal, especially as I was only earning $8 dollars / hour. Honestly, I don't remember a lot from the trip which is why I have been wanting to revisit.

Other

I have been obsessed with a ginger turmeric "tea". I was first exposed to something similar at a Marrickville market. Being the frugal person that I am, I abstained from purchasing it and decided to make my own! Although frugality and purchasing ginger are almost mutually exclusive (ginger at $25 a kilo?!?!). I like to think that this drink is helping my health and will boost my immune system since I hot desk at work, catch public transport and it is getting into cold / flu season.

I also randomly bought a new film camera! It is the Pentax SP1000 and I am in love with it; the click of the shutter is just so sexy. The massive downside is that the camera is pretty heavy at 850 grams.

For the first time in many years, it is actually cold in Sydney! There are lows of 9 and highs of 17 (although it doesn't feel like 17 with the wind chill) which I am absolutely loving. I am able to wear my long boots and my Marcs winter coat.

Overall life is looking pretty great :)

Monday, 17 April 2017

Thoughts from a Law Graduate Who is Not Working in Law


In the professional world, the most common question I have been asked is: why do you not work in law? For readers who do not know, I attained a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws from university. This question is soon becoming the bane of my existence. It is the question that I get asked at job interviews (this is 100% guaranteed right after "so tell me about yourself") and when I introduce myself to colleagues. There are moments where I am bored of the question and then there are moments where I am frustrated to the point where I have seriously contemplated about tattooing my reasons of 'why not' on my forehead. Yno, to make life a little simpler.

In this day and age, I really do not understand why people are so concerned / interested as to why I haven't followed the traditional path of my university degree/s. I thought people loved to encourage others to stray from the beaten path! Why do people not question that I am not an accountant; in my business degree, I majored in accounting. I suppose the question also bothers me as it apparently is the most interesting thing about me! My work experience is not interesting nor the fact that I studied abroad! (I think it is also important to note that those who claimed that studying abroad would boost any CV is a liar. It is such a dime a dozen thing these days and definitely not unique). Or perhaps they (specifically interviewers) think they are asking me a tricky question that will throw me off guard. Ha, keep dreaming.

This post was inspired by my interview recently where, yet again, the question was asked. I have fine tuned my highly rehearsed and almost robotic response now! I am 2 years post graduation, have been in my first 'big girl' job and am applying for similar roles based on my experience from that job and YET people still ask me. Relevance?

P.S For those who are interested, I did not pursue law simply due to lack of opportunities and for the sake of my mental health (read: I was receiving far too many rejections, to the point where my self worth couldn't handle it anymore). But that is not my official reason, I have a better spin-doctor-y answer instead. Do I have regrets that I don't work in law? None at all. I look forward to the day where this insignificant fact is not the most interesting thing about me!
Friday, 31 March 2017

New Beginning

I have been intentionally silent on my job front for quite a while now. Short story (and I would like to write a long story) is that I hated my job. Or more specifically I hated the organisational culture and management. People always say that there is more to life than work, however when it consumes a solid chunk of the week it becomes hard to separate the two. I was / am absolutely miserable and had a few breakdowns at home and at work; at one point after a massive crying session to my colleague I asked, "What is the meaning of my suffering". Haha. I think if I was to count the number of times I cried at work, it would be in excess of 15 times. Chuck in some anxiety (and probably little bit of depression) and the past 1.5 years has not been fun at all.

Anyways, I have officially resigned from my current workplace (an amazing way to end a Friday) and will commence a new chapter on 1st May.
Friday, 3 March 2017

Farewell Summer


The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting cooler (for now). Summer is officially over. I have been living a post student life for 2 years now and the only thing I miss about it are the 4 month long university summer holidays. I suppose it is a bit ridiculous for me to lament about the freedom, the adventures I took, summer romances and all other cliches because I spent almost all my summers working full time at my retail job. And yet, I somehow miss it. Perhaps it is attributable to feelings of dissatisfaction that have been creeping up on me. Or perhaps it is the fact that my job has made me quite jaded.


Nonetheless, I welcome autumn. Or should I say marginally cooler weather. Sydney does not do autumn as well as other places. It is less distinctive as a season and simply blurs into winter quite seamlessly as winters here are incredibly mild. I am looking forward to spending time in bed curled up with a good book and a cup of tea. I am looking forward to experiencing the world around me slow down a little. I am looking forward to, hopefully, squeezing in a roadtrip to see the change of leaves. And I am looking forward to spending some more time to figure some things out.

Last ice cream of summer!
Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Monthly Recap: February


February was a quiet month and I didn't really do too much. This was partly attributable to the heatwaves which dominated the first half of the month but also due to stress / anxiety. Despite spending most of the month in bed / on the couch in my spare time, surprisingly, I didn't watch too much on Netflix. I also finally purchased private health insurance, so I guess I am officially an adult now.

The books that I read / listened to were largely uninspiring and underwhelming apart from two books, A Brief History of Seven Killings and Half of a Yellow Sun. Marlon James' "A Brief History of Seven Killings" won the Man Booker Award 2015 and I was introduced to it by Sunbeamsjess mid last year. I had attempted to read it back in September however I ended up simply reading words. Fast forward 5 months later and I gave this novel another try. It is definitely a challenging read and I found it most manageable to read a few chapters in one sitting only. Between the different "languages" used - Jamaican patois, British English, American English-, the 75 character list including gang members, politicians, American journalist and a very intricate story, it is definitely not for the faint hearted. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was less of a challenging read however the prose is absolutely beautiful and effortless. It is centred around 5 characters in Nigeria during the Biafara Civil War and the best book I have read in a very long time.

This month, I also noticed a trend: I feel that I have been seeing a surge in posts about the Maldives / Bora Bora over the past year or so. Has anyone else noticed this? I find it strange when influencers / bloggers are sent on sponsored trips there, courtesy of the hotel, because I don't really understand the return on "investment". It is not as though the average person would be inspired by so-and-so's Instagram photo or blog post because, let's be real, who can really afford $1000+ accommodation per night?!?

Still on the topic of travel, the insanely cheap flights to Europe, Santiago and New York City are killing me. Around $1000-$1100?!?!?

I also have a giveaway going on right now which will finish by the end of this week so please enter as soon as possible!

How did the month of February treat you? 
Thursday, 2 February 2017

Monthly Recap: January


January is always a bit of a weird month. Before the commencement of full time work (namely, being a student) it was more of an exciting month and full of opportunities and new beginnings. However these days, it feels a little anti-climatic and more like an extension of the previous year; I suppose that is a dumb thing to say because ... well that is what it actually is!

Travel 
• Road trip to New England region in NSW (posts to come)
• Revisited Figure 8 Pools. This time I didn't bring my camera however I have written about it previously. There are so many more people now and there are tours from hostels as well. I am still not convinced that it is the most incredible thing to see.
• I have been a little obsessed with wild swimming (creeks / lakes / dams) since my trip to Tasmania and headed to Jellybean Pool at Glenbrook. Although I did end up slipping and grazed half of my thigh.
• Decided that I won't be going overseas this year. I have been toying with the idea of heading to South Australia for 1.5 weeks to roadtrip around the state.

Hobbies (life outside travel)
• Tried to start a bullet journal. I didn't realise exactly what it was until early this month and discovered it was something that I used to do back during my university days! My bullet journal lasted all of one week as I came to the realisation that I really don't need a journal these days.
• Have started experimenting with watercolours. It is something that I play with as I am watching a show / movie.
• Maintained two blog posts a week for the entire month! Sometimes I feel that is too frequent, however I am also on a backlog right now and get a little anxious when I am too far behind. Is this unique to me?
• Gave my blog a little makeover with a new template, banner and 'About' page!
• Have been on an audiobook listening spree. I prefer reading a physical book over listening to audiobooks. However, I have become bored of listening to music on my commute and would rather spend the time more efficiently. I cannot read on buses as I get motion sickness which is why audiobooks are my only option!
Books: ISIS: The State of Terror by Jessica Stern; 1984 by George Orwell; 11/22/63 by Stephen King; The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon; The Opposite of Lonelinesss by Marina Keegan; The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff; Snowblind by Michael McBride; The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking; The Vegetarian by Han Kang; Spark Joy by Marie Kondo
Watched: Vikings, A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Shannara Chronicles, 11.22.63, La La Land, Arrivals (♥), Hope, Passengers, Lion, Hidden Figures, Moana

I have spent quite a few days this month (when I am not at work) at home and relaxing which is a little foreign to me. As mentioned previously, I am wanting to slow down a little and learn that I don't always need to be doing something. However that being said, it is quite clear that I spent a lot of time on Netflix this month. 
Monday, 16 January 2017

Haul: MooGoo Skincare Products


A bit of a different post! A few weeks ago, I was researching serums / oils to incorporate into my skincare. For those who have tried to research products online, it is completely overwhelming! There are so many products out there and of course, every product works differently for each person. I have normal / dry skin and my biggest concern (aside from wrinkles) is darkness particularly around my eyes.



I wear make up almost every day and a large part of it is due to the fact that it evens out my complexion. I have a lot of freckles which I have grown to ... tolerate. Honestly, I don't really care that I do have freckles except for the fact that without make up, my skin never looks clear even if I don't have breakouts. Ultimately, freckles make my face look ruddy and no they are not cute, they are only cute when there is a light smattering across the nosebridge and cheeks (look on Youtube for all those ridiculous 'How to Fake Freckles' tutorials). Laser for my freckles is a possible course of action and in the meantime, I wanted to address the darkness around my eyes. Cue researching new eye creams on Reddit and then I stumbled upon a recommendation of Moogoo for their Vitamin C oil. Shortly after I then made a purchase online.


I purchased the MooGoo super Vitamin C Serum $34.90 AUD.

Product Description
This serum is based around an oil soluble form of Vitamin C called "Abscobyl Tetraisopalmitate" or VCIP. Most forms of Vitamin C are water soluble. Because the skin is protected by a layer of oil, this means that water soluble Vitamin C does not penetrate well. However our Vitamin C dissolves in oil and so can be absorbed deeper into the skin.

VCIP at this concentration is especially good for pigmentation and sun damage. For this reason, we recommend it pigmentation around the eye area or other areas of the face where pigmentation is a problem


I also purchased the Tamanu Oil ($15.90 AUD) which I had briefly been researching last year when I was trying to find a product to help with acne scarring.

Product Description
Tamanu Oil is now becoming famous for its anti-ageing benefits abased on promotion of new skin and its assistance in repair. Ideal for acne, acne scarring and wound soothing. It is best applied in the evening or under a moisturiser.


They also kindly provided two samples: anti aging cream and small sample of the tinted moisturiser. I will start using the Vitamin C oil shortly and maybe I will write a follow up about my thoughts in a few months time.
Thursday, 29 December 2016

2016 Reflection

2016 has quickly come and gone. The year always seemed to go so slowly back in my schooling days however each year, it seems to go by faster and faster. I am not one to really set goals at the beginning of the new year and thus I cannot accurately say whether or not I have achieved what I had set out.

Looking back on 2016

Upon reflection of 2016, it has been a busy year. I travelled a fair bit; I went on one big trip to Mongolia and went on a few smaller ones throughout the year during my long weekends. I successfully completed #take12trips quite easily.

01. Ingleburn
02. Warragamba Dam 
03. Wollongong
04. Riverina Roadtrip
05. Port Stephens
06. Wollongong & Helensburgh
07. Blue Mountains
08. Capertee Valley & Hill End 
09. Mongolia
10. Ettalong 
11. Victoria Roadtrip
12. Wattamolla

I finally properly visited and photographed canola fields which is something that has been on my mind for numerous years now.

I turned 25 this year in December which was a little bit scary; I am now in the mid 20s bracket. Eck! I also realised this year that I have been in a new relationship every year for the past 4 years (....) however I think this time round, I may have found myself a keeper ;P

Professionally, I have learnt so much more about myself however in that area of my life, it has been quite draining and I am a little burnt out. I am glad that I have a two week office closure, although the forced use of 2 weeks of leave when I only have 4 weeks annually is a little painful to swallow.

I also purchased a new camera which was very exciting as I have only ever owned point and shoot cameras. Yes really!

I have successfully completed my reading challenge of reading 60 books this year, follow my Goodreads!

Onto something likely more negative, 2016 has overall been quite a tough year. It definitely has not been the best year financially for me. I had to pay a $433 fine for accidentally running through a red light; I can only blame myself, it was one of those trippy two sets of lights close to together and the first was green and second was red and I wasn't paying enough attention. On my trip to Melbourne, I ended up forking around $250 due to flight cancellation and accommodation. And only two days ago, I had to cut my Tasmania trip short because I accidentally crashed my car, no replacement cars were available and I incurred around $1500 overall for the damage, having to buy a new flight, accommodation, etc. What a way to end the year especially since I had been looking forward to this trip since March.


Looking forward to 2017

I want to take it slower in 2017. My opinion may change when the time arises, but I want to take less trips. I won't be completing #take12trips, however I am sure that I will end up taking that many as a minimum considering my nature. I did not strain myself this year to meet the goal, however I thought it became a little redundant around halfway through the year. I think I need to become more in tune with myself and to slow down when I am becoming burnt out; remembering to take some time to relax and do nothing. Doing nothing is a foreign concept to me however it is valuable. However, I am planning on going overseas on a trip to Vietnam and Thailand in August; that will be my big trip for 2017.

As a consequence of travelling less, I will invariably end up saving more. I have never been one to save to travel, but more save to save and using some of my savings to travel. That is why, despite having a budget for my trips, I can easily blow out my budget without too much of a worry. I suppose I am getting to the age where having savings is becoming increasingly more important. Luckily, I have always been a saver so the mindset is already there. It is a fickle thing; like a lot of people, I do want to get into the property market. However 2017 will not be the year. I will not lament about all those issues and hurdles that are constantly brought up in the news. Simply put, the time is not right for me.

What is one thing you are wanting to achieve in 2017?
Monday, 19 December 2016

Meeting Ice Pandora!


This is a very long overdue post. Back in August after my two weeks in Mongolia, I headed to Hong Kong for a few days. On one of the days, I organised to meet up with Mei from Ice Pandora! I have followed Mei for many years now and if you don't know her blog, definitely check it out! This was my first time meeting someone through my blog which was a little nerve wrecking. I have previously met up with two people online back in my LiveJournal days so it's not entirely foreign to me.

It was a bit difficult to meet up as I wasn't too clear with my directions which reminded me how difficult it is to find someone when both parties don't have working phones! Nonetheless, we finally managed to find each other and had a coffee in a very weird cafe. It also was a reminder of the shortcoming of being illiterate; I can get by with my basic knowledge Cantonese but cannot read or write at all.

It was a wonderful meeting and I actually hope to meet more people who I know from my blog in the coming year. If you are coming to Sydney or from Sydney and are interested, let me know!
Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Perpetual High School

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I have now been working a 9-5 ish job for 1.5 years and I have recently transitioned to another department in the company. I have come to realise that life/ work is just like highschool. This is definitely not revolutionary but it has been an interesting revelation.

I spent a lot of highschool hoping to reach the 'real world' however I have come to the realisation that high school never truly ends!

These are just from my experiences in the department I have worked in for the last 11 months and probably / possibly not reflective of all workplaces.

1) Cliques
I was never in the 'cool' crowd during highschool; in fact I was in the quiet, over achieving friendship group. Cliques are so prevalent at work and the 'cool kids' are definitely the ones who progress professionally. It is partly because they network, but also because birds of the same feather flock together. Naturally, I am not a cool kid at work either!

2) Gossip
Everyone is such a gossip and the grapevine is a very well used form of communication. I have learnt things from other offices / people I've never met / people I know and it has been a little weird. A few months ago I found out the project manager who sits 3 desks away from me had sex in the stairwell at work. YES. REALLY.

3) Drinking
Why are all social outings closely linked with drinking? I have never been much of a drinker however, over the past few years I have almost entirely cut it out. I don't have a reason; it simply is just not part of my lifestyle and I don't feel compelled to have a drink. Cue awkward social situations at work. Honestly it gets a little tiring. Although some people are okay with it, there is still a large portion of people who have the same mentality as those 18 year olds, "but come on! Why don't you drink??" And more importantly, why would I want to get drunk in front of people I work with? That is the question that I would love an answer to. Honestly, if anyone could explain the rationale behind the shennanigans that happen at Christmas parties I would also be forever grateful.
Friday, 4 November 2016

Identity Crisis

I was quite ill for most of October and spent many days in bed. Truth be told, I cannot remember the last time that I was that ill. I was out for the count for a week and it has now been 3 weeks since then and I am still on the recovery path. I had a fever one day at work, left early and then the next morning my tonsils were so inflamed and painful. I then lost my voice for a few days and subsequently endured the same coughing fits that I had in Europe. I had interrupted sleep for over a week due to my painfully inflamed tonsils, coughs, phlegm and just general discomfort.

I normally get quite anxious when I am around people who are sick because I genuinely get scared of having the same fits. This time around, I was impacted greater than the time in Europe which I didn't think was possible. I don't believe I blogged about it but my persistent coughs resulted in a strain near the bottom of my right ribs which was incredibly painful. It took a month for the pain to subside fully and the experience has scared me a little. Unfortunately, I experienced a lot more chest pain / strains due to persistent coughing for over 2 weeks. I suppose my body was being 'kind' and the pain points rotated every morning. Some days it was the entire front area of my chest, sometimes it was the back, sometimes the sides and it rotated again. Irrespective of the area, it felt like something was stabbing me. The pain is currently around my shoulder blades and it has been for a while. Thankfully it is no longer a sharp pain but a dull and annoying ache when I cough  / breathe / move. For a while, my mere existence was painful, quite literally.

As you may gather from my blog, I find it hard to sit still. I am always planning what to do on weekends and things that I want to see and do. It was quite hard for me mentally to cope with being that sick. I had no energy and was literally in bed or on the couch all day. I honestly felt as though I had lost my identity which sounds like such a silly thing. I knew that I would get better, but it did make me wonder 'what if' I didn't, then who was I really? Then I couldn't answer that question which scared me a little. I have created my identity that is so intertwined with going on adventures and experiencing life that I don't know what I would be without them. I know that life is short and that is why I try to do as much as I can, when I can. However, it has sometimes crossed my mind that I sometimes - ironically - create stress by thinking that I am not living life to the fullest even though I know I generally do.

The funny thing is that after my trip to Mongolia, I had the feeling that I was over exerting myself and needed to have some downtime. For the past few months I have been bouncing from one thing to another and perhaps it was my body signalling that it wanted things to slow down a little.

I still have a cough but it is largely a non event now. I still have pain and I know that it will take a while to subside. This will mean that I will be taking it relatively easy for the rest of the year. I suppose it is also easy to meet that goal considering we are only 2 months away from the end of the year - madness! Well that is until my week long trip to Tasmania over Christmas which I am super excited about!
Friday, 19 August 2016

Ramblings on a Plane

Disclaimer: I am writing this on a flight and this is chattier and more rambl-y than normal.


Hi, I am Natalie and I love to travel. However, something that most people don't know about me is that I experence quite bad plane anxiety. Except for budget airlines - read: European airlines like Ryanair - I will be one of the last to board the plane. Not the very last one but I really don't see the need to be on a plane any longer than what I need to. Now, why am I in the beginning for those budget airlines, purely because I need to carry my large-ish backpack onboard and need to stealthily stow my luggage in the overhead compartments. It starts the moment I walk onto the tunnel and I start to smell the airplane smell which grosses me out a lot. It really annoys me that the smell permeates into all my clothing and into every pore.

Living in Australia definitely has its perks and appeals but the most annoying thing is that it takes a trek and a half to get anywhere. As at the time I am writing this, I am 3 hours into a 9 hour flight to Hong Kong and I am still flying over the Northern Territory in Australia. Hello! But I will shortly be saying adios to Australia and welcoming hours and hours of ocean!

I know that some people use the plane to catch up on movies and things of that nature, but with my anxiety I find it really uncomfortable to be watching a movie. From the numerous flights I have caught since 2012, I honestly cannot recall a single movie that I have watched.

What Does Natalie Do on a Flight?

  • Listen to the music on the flight. I am currently a little disappointed with the selection on Cathay Pacific; Virgin Atlantic has had the best! However they do have Maddie & Tae which I am loving.
  • Reading - I just finished a novel however I find it hard to immediately jump to another novel. I have to be listening to music as I am reading, more for background noise than anything.
  • I take off my shoes. Controversial! Of course, I have clean socks. I like to sit on my feet and for night flights, I do a half assed feotal curl sleeping position. On the topic of feet, the person sitting next to me also has her shoes off and sits on her feet more than I do which is impressive! For a while she was doing this squat on her chair which I believe would feel amazing.
  • I always have my backpack / bag at my feet to elevate. Being short does have its perks on a flight, namely legroom and ability to curl! However it does mean it isn't super comfortable to have my feet on the ground.
  • I try to not pee often / at all / maybe once only. The toilet freaks me out and I try to mentally forget that I am on a plane; I try to stay in my window seat and forget that I am only a few thousand of kms up in the air. Told ya, I have anxiety and my coping mechanism has been music and trying to pretend that I am not on a plane.
  • Think about everything in my life
  • On the topic of my last dot point, I have realised that for almost all my overseas / domestic trips since 2012 - truth be told, I only started travelling in 2012 - I have always had a partner. Each occassion has been a different partner, but there has always been someone waiting at home. Isn't that weird!

I am now off to write a few blog posts, namely Tinder dates.

Ah - I see the ocean now. Almost to Hong Kong now! Not. It kind of concerns me that I want to go to South America and Africa in the next 10 years. How will I survive the flight/s? I do not know.
Sunday, 7 August 2016

Books for Mongolia

What does one do when spending 11 days on a tour in Mongolia, with no access to internet and in the middle of a country. Why stock up on books for my Kindle! One of my exes bought me a Kindle Paperwhite for my birthday. At the time, I was a little irritated (embarrassingly) as I was adamant that I didn't need one. But it has now changed my life and I am so glad that he made that purchase for me. He used to read my blog (not sure if he still does) so Hello! Thank you! :) 


I have tried to branch out from my usual novels (read: thrillers) and have a bunch of different novels. These include:

A Curious Beginning - Deanna Raybourn
My Grandmother Asked me to Tell you She's Sorry - Fredrik Backman
The Versions of Us - Laura Barnett
Instructions for a Heatwave - Maggie O'Farrell
Luck, Love & Lemon Pie - Amy Reichert
The One Plus One - Jojo Moyes
The Choices We Make - Karma Brown
First Comes Love - Emily Giffin
The Camel Club - David Baldacci (a "safe" novel)
Harry Potter & The Cursed Child

Have you read any novels lately that you would recommend? Add me on Goodreads to see what I am reading! 
Thursday, 28 July 2016

July Update

Another month and another update! I won't bore you all with the standard sentence but please keep reading to see how I have been tracking.

Work
+ Work has still been slightly frustrating however I have entered holiday mode and nothing phases me too much anymore!

+ This month has been challenging on my interpersonal skills. I have presented to senior stakeholders and in a 20 person meeting full of important people, I provided some input without stuttering! It was fabulous.

+ When I get back from my holiday I will become a more active job-hunter.

Online Life
+ I have revamped the layout of my blog ever so slightly! I have now included a drop down navigation. Originally I had wanted a multi-level drop down for my travel rather than separating it into different continents but alas after 3 hours of tutorials I couldn't figure it out. I think it still works currently. My previous travels page was getting too long, too detailed and just very blah.


+ Learning CSS and HTML was quite weird; it was a definite throwback to 15 year old Natalie who used to code / modify her Livejournal layouts. There was a point in my life where I could code (a very basic) layout. In fact I made a website from scratch as my major project for Year 12 Software Design & Development.

+ As part of this clean out, I also reviewed my old content (I have been blogging here for 5 years now!) and it is quite amusing to see how I used to write. I believe that I write quite conversationally now, however it was much more casual back then! What is even more interesting is how my content has changed. My blog has inevitably shifted from a random collection of my thoughts to become more centred around travel (domestically and internationally). These update posts are essentially the only personal posts that I write these days.

+ I still need to tidy up my tags which is a little out of control. I remember back in the good ol' LJ days that this was a horrible task and alas, I don't think this current state of tag-affairs is any better. But it needs to be done as I haven't reviewed it ... ever.

+ I have been on-and-off with my blog again. This may not be apparent as I schedule the vast majority of my posts (including this post!), but in the past I used to write at least one post a week. These days I am lucky if this happens every three weeks.

+ In fact, for quite a few weeks I was "struggling" to keep up with my blogs that I read. Life has been a little busy (keep reading) and I haven't had the chance to keep in touch with everyone. My bloglovin feed is currently under control again; hopefully it stays like that.

Life
+ In the month of July, I went on this binge-dating phase. I am thinking about writing a separate post about this but in a nutshell, I went on an absurd number of dates in a reasonably short period of time.

+ Due to the above, I did not venture outside of Sydney. Not once which is unprecedented! I will still be able to meet the #take12trips challenge as I am ahead by one trip.

+ Song favourites: Trace Adkins "I Can't Outrun You"; Birdy "Wings; Darius Rucker "If I Told You"

Travel itchy feet rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Wednesday, 29 June 2016

June Update

I have been MIA from my blog yet again! Life has been a little crazy lately which I guess I will dot point below. July is almost here which means that my trip to Mongolia is fast approaching which is crazy considering I booked this back in December!

Work
+ I have been a little frustrated with work due to people. My role has a lot of interactions with clients and also various operational teams. I've also been off my game lately so mistakes have been made which irks me.

+ I have made a new work friend and it is a lot of fun having someone to chat to.

+ I am mentoring / buddying with the guy that got the role that I wanted which is incredibly ironic.

Life
+ I have finished all my pottery classes and loved it! It was infinitely better than the other studio and I may actually pick this up as a hobby. Maybe.

+ Mr Paella and I broke up. But I have come to the sad realisation that I didn't actually care enough about it and have been on quite a few dates since then. I sound like a horrible person, but I guess I don't know why I stayed as long as I did.

+ Over the long weekend (which I still need to blog about) I went on a road trip and it was amazing!

+ I am back on Tinder life! However, I haven't had any interesting stories unlike last time.

+ V was my second most viewed story out of the three Tinder stories (actually that series were my most viewed posts ... seriously) and I matched with him again (third time now) and we finally met up. Twice! He is surprisingly exactly how he is on texts. Confident, smooth talker, knows he is attractive and just a commitment phobe (but not willingly to say he is only looking for flings). He also has a lot of baggage (as do I) and his bravado is very obvious. He is a super super interesting character. The reality is that I know at some point (probably in the near future) I will have to stop spending time with him. And it is sad because he genuinely is such an interesting person; probably the most interesting person that I know.

+ Music favourites: Lukas Graham - 7 Years.

+ Travel itchy feet rating: ☆ 
Sunday, 5 June 2016

May Update

It is the end of the month again! Crazy how fast time is flying by. I "missed" the previous month. In actual fact, I had something written but then my mind was wandering and blogging was the furthest thing from my mind. And by that stage, it was just too far gone. I have been quite MIA on my blog - only two blog posts for May which is absurd! - as I try to post at least weekly.

Work
+ My manager is killing me. I have been broken and I really need to start filtering what I say. Any time anyone mentions anything related to them the bitching starts and I let everyone and their cat know my greatest displeasure.

+ My direct line manager is alright these days. I yo-yo greatly with my opinion. Some days I realise that he is young and is trying / doing his best. At the end of the day, his best is all I can ask for. Other days I think he is a condescending ass and needs to stop thinking that he is top shit (especially as he is only one year older than me).

+ I have been looking at jobs daily, but haven't applied for anything yet. I have now applied for three jobs.

+ I have also become quite aggressive at work and making sure that people know what I am thinking and what I want.

+ I took a mental health day last week after having a completely horrible day on Monday. My direct line manager spent 10 minutes explaining why I was rejected for the permanent role in his team. It was horrible. I think the 'best' part was when he asked how I felt after he rejected me. Lol.

Life
+ I have booked myself 3 x introductory pottery classes for next month which I am excited for. I did pottery earlier this year and it was painful due to the studio. Long story short, I would not recommend The Pottery Shed in Paddington.

+ Didn't get up to too much this month; mainly stayed at home which was also probably not conducive to my mood.

+ My TV shows are all reaching their summer hiatus! I absolutely loved Quantico and cannot wait for the next season. The funny thing is that the show was a bit of a nothing / mindless show in the very beginning but over the course of the season, I really got into it!

This quote has really resonated with me this month:

As long as you feel like you are doing the right thing then in the long run that’s all that’s gonna matter because, yno, you’re the one lying awake  at night alone in bed and thinking about your life. And if you have compromised your life you’ll know.
Ingrid Michaelson


+ Tea Was Here kindly asked me to write a little piece for her Travel Bloggers' Passport Stamp Stories.

+ Music favourites: Jake Owen "American Country Love Song" (I listened to this song for a whole work day, I was also quite unhappy too); Georgia Florida Line "H.O.L.Y"

+ Travel itchy feet rating: ★★
Friday, 29 April 2016

Work

Ah work. This is another quite personal post. I ended up leaving working 3 hours early just because I mentally couldn't cope with it anymore. I have been quite unhappy / frustrated with work for a while as I have mentioned here and here and here. I still have hope that it can change and that is why I am still around. Actually looking for another job also terrifies me but I think it is something that I need to do at least. What is the harm in applying? None. Last week I had a direct conversation with my line manager about how I feel unchallenged and unengaged and that my work load is super light. This morning at 9am, I had a conversation with the General Manager asking to get a permanent position in the team. She basically spoke a lot about budget and how there wasn't room for me, but I am more than welcome to apply for a role just like anyone else if the role arises. This conversation went on for probably 20 minutes of her talking about the budgeting and how there might be roles in the future, there might not be, she doesn't know.

I was probably crying at my desk for a solid hour after lunch (proud that I lasted that long without a complete breakdown!) and then the woman who sat next to me / mentor / manager asked if I wanted to have a coffee. I said yes and then had a massive cry to her. Basically I just feel defeated. There is so much history with the company and myself and that is something that I don't want to get into at all. I then mentioned in a flippant way, "I may as well go home now. I may not even have a job in 3 months why should I even be here?" and she said it would be a good idea to go home if I wanted. So I left at 2pm!

I am feeling very very lost and have been for a while. I have been feeling so anxious and so stressed for quite a while now. I don't think I've felt like this for a very long time now. Probably three years ago was when I remember feeling this so strongly.

The only thing I could think on the bus was: what is the point of all my suffering?

And the scary thing is: I just don't know.