Category Archives: Personal

Missing swimming

Today I went to the pools, like I usually do. The lane availability on the website said the outdoor pool would have six lanes available, and I’m usually okay with sharing with someone else if necessary. I know there is usually squad swimming in the evenings, as well as an aquaerobics class on occasion.

But this evening I got to the outdoor pool and there was a cavalcade of people. Squad had their usual four lanes, but in the remaining ones there was a triathlon club as well as the members of the public and the group of 15 or so people waiting to do the aqua class. The triathlon club had around six or seven swimmers in each lane, the water was in constant motion and there seemed to be a nonstop barrage of noise.

I freaked out a little bit. I sat to the side of the pool waiting for 7pm, thinking that perhaps the other swimmers would be done then and the pool would settle down. It did not. If anything, it got louder and more crowded as the stereo blared for the start of the aqua class. The lifeguards took down the signs for two of the general swimming lanes to add more reserved signs, as well as closing another two for the aqua class.  There were people finishing up their swims, which I was almost hopeful at, but for each triathlete that emerged from the water another two clustered around those reserved signs seemingly waiting their turn.

I panicked.

I did something I have never done before but that felt like the only option left for me. I left the pool, walked back out to my car and drove back home. On my way I did check the smaller, 25m indoor pool to see how crowded that was. But at that moment in time I think the entire pool could have been empty and I still would have walked away. I go swimming for the fitness aspect, yes, but for me it means so much more to my overall mental health and state of mind. When I am swimming the outside world becomes a blur and I am able to slow down my overthinking brain and just breathe. Literally. I hadn’t swam for over a week because of having been a bit sunburned the last time I went, and mentally I knew that I was overdue; brain all jumbled up, becoming very reactionary and impulsive and just on edge.  Seeing the place that is supposed to be my oasis in such turmoil and with so many people put me into almost a blind panic as I walked back to my car.

Yesterday was an overload for me too so I had been looking forward to a swim to put me in a better frame of mind. I went to my first music festival with a friend. I was very apprehensive in the days (hours and minutes really) leading up to it, not at all keen on spending ten hours on a 30 degree day being jostled around by tens of thousands of strangers while straining to see and listen to musicians that I barely knew. But I went, because my friend really wanted to go and I know that sometimes I say no to things before trying them because I am nervous about new experiences, which this definitely was. The day started out fine, the smaller stage was actually really fun and the crowds were far less for the first few hours. Then we went to the main arena.

At first we stayed in the stands (the stone steps at Fremantle Oval) which were weirdly comforting to me because of all the time I have spent there watching the footy. It was an ideal perch to watch both main stages from, and watch the masses of people congregating and bouncing around without having to directly be a part of it. Even watching the bands from the steps was getting a bit much for me though. The bass of the bands and artists was just going right through me and made me feel like my heart was about to burst out of me. I have never (probably never again) been more grateful to Liam Gallagher and the complete lack of bass and treble and all that modern music junk. But then Liam was winding up and the next act was the band my friend had wanted to come to the festival for, and she wanted to go further in to be where all the other people were so she could dance to this band. Perfectly reasonable, right? The further and further in we walked (or really crushed) into the crowd, the more and more I knew that this was the last place in the world I wanted to be in that exact moment. I in fact sent that as an exact message to a couple of friends. It definitely didn’t help that we had been in the sun all day, I had been drinking without eating any food and it was around hour seven of the day. But I was completely miserable while trying not to look so for the sake of my friend. Even when Liam Gallagher finished off his set with Wonderwall and the entirety of the festival sang along in what I’m sure was supposed to be a special moment, all I could manage was token singing along while my eyes darted around and my heart raced.

My friend’s band started and there was a surge of people going the ten metres from one stage to the next, it felt like I had somehow landed on the freeway and there were cars speeding past me while I tried to cross the road in slow motion. There was no way I was about to ruin my friend’s evening with my neuroses though, so I did bob along to the music while wincing and flinching at each shove and bump I felt. As the band played their more well known songs, my friend wanted us to go further in to the actual stage part. I went along with it, because again I wasn’t about to spoil her day, but by then I felt like I was just in a blind panic. I wanted to get out, I was counting down the minutes until the band’s set was up so I could start to hope that it was time to go home. The second my friend said we should go back out (because the band were on their last song) I practically ran back to those stone steps. My friend was going to stay until the end with her cousin, because they had to go home together, so she said I could feel free to leave whenever I wanted. I lasted maybe five minutes before practically skipping to the exit.

I know that realistically I could have leave whenever I wanted to, and my friend certainly isn’t the type to have made me stay or made me feel guilty about leaving. But I’m such a massive people pleaser that I wouldn’t dream of getting in the way of something that one of my friends really wanted to do. She was back in town for the holidays from Melbourne and early on when I asked her what she wanted to do while she was here she said she wanted to go to this festival to see this band, so of course I bought a ticket with her. I figured that I hadn’t been to a festival before so why not, and I’m sure it won’t be as bad as most festivals have appeared to be. And pragmatically it wasn’t a terrible day, I did really enjoy the Valley stage and a few of the bands there.

But then this evening at the pool. I had spent all day at home alone with the intentions of recovery only to emerge to another populous display of humanity. It was too much. I left the pool after sending a snapchat to a friend, and got home ten minutes late. I then came out of the car a whole half an hour later.

Sitting in the car I felt so overwhelmed. Not crying (for once in my life, I know nobody will believe this but it’s true) but just with a rush of something just on edge. My cat was meowing as he always does when I get home. I tried to calm myself down.

I closed my eyes for a moment remembered that I was in a closed garage in a car so wondered about carbon monoxide and then thought about that scene in Sabrina where she starts all the cars in the garage and closes the door because she is so miserable but then remembered that the car was not running so figured that would be okay but then checked my phone and wondered why my friend hadn’t replied to me it had been about twenty minutes by now so I checked snapchat to see and then I looked at another unrelated story about people being so extra and wondered am I being extra with my freaking out about people but then figured that no it was really a lot of people yesterday and today and then my ears started ringing really loudly and it sounded just like the bass and noise yesterday so I worried a lot about that and realised that my ears hadn’t been ringing all day only in that moment so I was really panicking and so I closed my eyes again to try to calm myself down and I must have fallen asleep.

I opened my eyes a good forty minutes after I parked in the garage. Very heavy lidded, like I could have slept in the car for another few hours. I wanted to swim today. I needed to swim today. It’s been an hour and 1700 words since I got out of the car and I have been writing nonstop since then. I do feel calmer having gotten this all out of my head. But I still need to swim.

signature

Advertisements

Broken, empty and lonely.

I came to a realisation yesterday morning. The events of the past week, and the past month and a half, have pretty much left me empty. Not empty in the sense that I am an emotionless husk of a woman, but empty in that I have nothing left to give at the moment. In general I am someone who is always giving to the people around her, generous with my time and efforts, and rarely expecting things in return. But I’m not an emotionless husk of a woman, I like to have my efforts acknowledged at the bare minimum if not appreciated. Lately it feels like all I do is give and be patient and understanding without receiving any of the same support. Continue reading Broken, empty and lonely.

New start, new ride

Just a quick one on this glorious Wednesday!

image

Today was my first day at a brand new school. Last year I formed a pretty significant bond with my advisory as part of the Big Picture Education pedagogy, and I was dreading having to leave them and start fresh. I’ve never been a big fan of change, and I had settled in so well at my old school that I ended up in a panic on the drive down to my new school this afternoon.

However my old school was nowhere near perfect (it is solely the familiarity and the students that have me missing it). So as soon as I got all my induction information and realised that I could finally be in an environment where I could learn and not have as much premature responsibility as at all my previous schools, I was a LOT happier. I loved being a part of a Big Picture school because of the emphasis on knowing your students and having a strong relationship with them, which is one of my biggest strengths as a teacher by far. My relationships with those kids were some of the best in the school, and I am very proud that in my farewell speech my line manager told everyone how I was a big sister figure for the disengaged kids especially,and that I was frequently the only one they responded to and would complete work for. Even now it brings me to prideful tears thinking how far I was able to bring those kids, though they are coupled with fearful tears knowing some of those same kids will go backwards without someone investing that same amount in them as I did.

As great as my student relationships were though, the staff were another story. Not dissimilar to my previous two schools, often I was left to my own devices with a huge amount of responsibility for someone only two years into her careers. The English department was nonexistent both in support and function. I would have my reports all ready to go with very little guidance, only to be told I had done them wrong and I should have been told the correct way to do them.

My new school already has a vastly different feel amongst the staff. The English department head has been amazingly helpful and there are a lot of existing systems in place for personal and professional support. One of my personal beliefs when it comes to teaching is that I will be less than useless in looking after and educating kids if I am not looking after myself. I struggled a lot in my first two years with that, overworking myself and taking on a lot of duties that were beyond me, and only recently finding a balance between work and self care.

Maybe that’s why I was hesitant and on edge this afternoon before arriving to school. I had finally found that routine and balance only for it to be swept out from under me without being able to do anything about it. I like to have control over things, and I do tend to panic first before letting go and enjoying the ride. Hopefully I have the panic all out of the way now, and can enjoy being at what seems to be an amazing school.

Hope you all are having an awesome week and that you Australian teachers are taking care of yourselves ahead of a new school year!

image

Life Update Time! (Taking Stock Jan 2016)

Life update time! I head back to work next week which I find myself kind of dreading. But I have had a great summer (non-relationship-wise) and I’m ready to take on some new challenges.

 

Cooking: A lot lately as I (again) attempt to change my eating habits. I find that I struggle to enjoy cooking for myself, but I adore cooking for other people! Below are the last two breakfasts I made for my housemate, very proud of them if I do say so myself!

Breakfast_made_for_boy_who_had_to_wake_up_early._Am_I_the_greatest_housemate_ever_Perhaps______breakfast__scrambledeggs__eggs__bacon__toast__mushroom__spinach__tomato__best__wifematerial__yoohoosailors__pretenditshealthypancakes

Drinking: Water from an old Mount Franklin bottle. Is that whole “don’t reuse bottle water bottles” thing still a thing??

Reading: Wonder Woman: The Twelve Labours. Side note: How bad ass does Gal Godot look in the Batman vs Superman trailer?!

Wanting: so many, many things. Let’s go with motivation for now..

Looking: at the old Casablanca poster above my desk, finally hung up!

Playing: that Covet fashion game (I’m pretending it’s helping me be more fashionable!), Pandemic and Ticket To Ride . I am OBSESSED with Tabletop at the moment!

Deciding: if I want to go run myself a cold bath. It is SO HOT that sometimes I do that first thing in the morning, just sit in the bath to cool down. The cat has started sleeping in the bathroom (apparently over his previous bath trauma) which goes to show, evaporative airconditioning= NOPE!

Wishing: that my housemate was not moving out in two months, or that he asks me to move in with him (HA!) or that he just gives me a really nice birthday before he moves.

Enjoying: that the cat and I have gotten into a perfect routine this holidays. And that I know all his facial expressions and postures, and he does what I want (finally!) at one word, AND that there has been no inside pooing. Victory!

Waiting : for my younger housemate to come home, so I can tease him about his lady dramas.

Liking: the new organisation of my desk. I cleaned it up nicely yesterday to give me a good workspace. Naturally the rest of my room remains less organised!

Wondering: if I can pull myself together enough to clean up the rest of my room. I-think-i-can i-think-i-can i-think-i-can….

Loving: My boo.

At_least_he_won_t_ignore_me__he_needs_me_to_feed_him..____sad__tom__needdistracting__basketballisntworking__boyssuck

Pondering: waking up early tomorrow to try get into my school routine. ORRR do I sleep in as it is one of my last holiday days?

Watching: The Office (US) S05 E09 The Surplus. About to head into an Agents of SHIELD catch up too.

Hoping: a fairy comes and waves their wand over me and makes me look like I did four years ago. #fatty #badday

Marvelling: at other people’s abilities to be hella into their fitness and health. Very, very envious.

Needing: To find some motivation.

Smelling: the bowl of frangipanis on my desk from my trees in the backyard. Another reason I wanna stay in this house!!

Wearing: pink singlet, green undies, black shorts. And I’m only wearing the shorts because my housemate is due home soon!

Following: Ashy Bines on Instagram and Snapchat. She’s annoyingly perfect looking, and yet so accessible and down to earth about herself and her ups and down.

Knowing: I need to do some more planning and reading for school. My first year teaching HASS (Humanities and Social Studies) so I’ve got a lot to catch up on!

Thinking:  that I want to go on a cruise this year. My Hawaiian trip was cancelled as my aunty changed the cruise we were all going on from one in the school holidays to one during the term! Sad that I can’t go with my family, but the cruise they are now going on is far better value. BUT I do still want to go on a holiday this year sometime.

Feeling: like the weather has cooled down a bit and the air con is actually working properly!

Admiring: friends that are changing their lives and making better choices than me.

Sorting: out my possessions into keep, give away, throw away piles. Biting the bullet, organising, cleaning, the whole thing.

Buying: Too many books that I do not have time to read. It’s a sickness!!

Bookmarking: ideas and things I want to buy for school. I do love me some stationary and resources!

Disliking: that I still get itchy eyes and hayfever from the cat (and all the cat hair and dust in my room!).

Opening: my iTunes to find that all my music has disappeared. Joy.

Giggling: at a photo frame I found this morning with an odd brand name (inside joke hehehe)

Snacking: On nothing at the moment!! Trying to kick the habit and eat regularly enough that snacking doesn’t happen.

Coveting: a house. a car, a boy, a holiday, a size 10 body.

Wishing: to have the resolve and commitment to stick to my plans to change habits, even when I am feeling conflicted and down.

Helping: myself by deciding not to go to the shops to buy dinner and snacks.

Hearing: my text tone go off as my housemate asks me to let him in. The silly boy left his keys at work, so all weekend he has been pestering me to see when I am at home.

Hope you have all had a great start to the new year! Any motivation suggestion slay it on me, I suck balls at motivating myself!

signature

 

Page 1 of 365

img_1211

Happy New Year everyone!

I’ve thought a lot about how I want to start my year, with goals or resolutions or promises to people. Recently there has been some.. turmoil (for lack of a better term) in my personal life that has led to me (once again) trying to rethink the way I live my life, what makes me happy and how I can get back to those happy places again.

I have decided to take things one day at a time. Set small goals that can be achieved, and slowly work towards the bigger things. Make time for the things that make me happy and feel less guilty for choosing to do those things instead of over-committing myself to other pursuits.

If I had to name any overarching themes of my 2016, I would like them to be health, writing, reading, career. I hope that I can stick to what I am trying to do, and that I can keep myself to deadlines. They were the one part of journalism that I was able to do exceptionally after all!

Hope you all had a great new year’s celebration.

signature

Hottest Thanksgiving Ever

Long time no post (yet again…)

School is really kicking my arse at the moment, as well as an insane amount of personal drama of the “can’t believe this is happening to me” persuasion. BUT in great news I have a position for next year where I can start fresh and possibly get permanency (ah that golden word!) so I’ve been able to handle the work drama. I am very thankful for the help my principal gave me in getting the job, and so I thought in the spirit of American Thanksgiving I would list a few things I am thankful for right now.

  1. Marvel’s Jessica Jones. I know she’s not exactly the greatest role model but damn, she’s just awesome. More amazingly is how much I am astounded by David Tennant’s Kilgrave. He is really compelling as a villain and an amazing actor. I’m currently watching episode 8 (AKA WWJD?) and I just love it.
  2. Good friends. Malinda at work and Caro from decades of friendship keeping me sane, Coop coming home for the holidays, Rach getting her dream job, Mich being there for me when I needed it and most of all J for being everything I need and more.
  3. Water. Swimming keeps me sane and helps clear my head, and   though I’ve been dry of late I’m hoping to get back into it soon.
  4. Perth. With this weather and the amount of driving around I’ve done lately I’m falling more and more in love with my home town. I can’t wait until the school holidays so I can explore more of it with friends and family.

Back to reports for me now, I’m hideously overdue with them and trying my hardest to stay on track. I don’t know why I consistently do this, procrastinate and lose motivation for things that I know will benefit me and make me feel good in the long run. It’s getting real old real fast and I don’t know how to stop it.

Delightfully positive right? Hope you are having a good weekend.

signature

Hello October!

october_071

Things that I want to accomplish this month include:

  • Finish reading the Thone of Glass series by Sarah J Maas – I’m addicted and currently in the middle of Heir of Fire (book 3).
  • Swimming at the pools a minimum of 1km per session, and at least three times a week.
  • Eating at least two pieces of fruit per day, and at least two servings of vegetables per day. Doctor says I have dangerously low iron levels so I’m looking to completely revamp my diet, starting with a new love of mushrooms and spinach!
  • Going to the beach at least four times this month. I’m ridiculous, the second the sun comes out a light goes off in my head saying “well. must be summer, time for thongs and bathers and sand and seaweed!”
  • Walking/running at least once a day – again. with the aforementioned revamp. I call it “Operation Hottie.” I’m also doing the Colour Run on the first of November, which I know is more fun than run, but I still want to do well!
  • Keep my bedroom clean. End of term saw me doing a lot of mindless dressing in the mornings without any time for laundry at night, resulting in the Everest of dirty clothes piles in my bedroom.
  • Stick to my Lorna Jane Active Planner – it’s all pink and amazing, and the core of my 12 week aim/Operation Hottie for the next three months. And on that note..
  • Lose at least 2cm from some measurement in my Lorna Jane planner. I’m trying hard to remember it’s less about weight and more about how my clothes fit me (especially with all my swimming making my arms so BUFF), but who doesn’t want to see that number on the scale go down? And finally:
  • Watch my darling Eagles take the flag this Saturday!

Hope you had a fantastic September and that your plans for the last three months of the year are coming along great! Just 12 weeks until Christmas!(shudder)

signature

Andrea’s First Fun Run!

So I have just gotten back from my first fun run (with little to no preparation)! 4km for the HBF Run for a Reason  here in Perth. I have been wanting to do one for awhile, and although my lead in was not at all what I would have liked, my results turned out better than I expected.

I went with my best friend who is a hardcore runner (she’s in a running club and told me her 4km PB was 23 minutes!!) so I knew I was already pushing myself, and we put ourselves in the “C” category which had a suggested race time of 35-45 minutes. My goal was to finish in under 50 minutes (this coming from someone who’s usual outdoor 5km is one whole hour..) but I ended up with a time of 42:19! AND this would have been lower had it not been for all the prams and walkers I had to dodge and try get in front of, as well as the gravel on the last 1km at Gloucester Park (I had planned to try actually run as opposed to power walk the last kilometre, but figured that gravel+running+Andrea=falling.)
For my first one I think I did well, next time I think I’m going to try get under 40 minutes, but baby steps I know! I had fun, listened to Gilmore Guys the whole way instead of music but I was more just looking around trying not to bump into people. The route was great and I had a lot of fun (except for the “getting up early on my Sunday” part).
Feeling great, hope you all are too!
Love,
Andrea20150524_114034 So_apparently_this_is_a_thing_I_m_doing_now...

Versatile Blogger Award 2.0!

versatile-blogger-award

Thanks to Liz at Gilmored I have been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award! (I like this much more than the first one) I’m a huge Gilmore Girls fan, and a lover of books and have attempted the Rory Gilmore reading Challenge many a time, so her fantastic blog is tailor made for me! Apologies for the ultra late response, I am not yet very good at balancing my work and fun time!

For this award, I am meant to thank the person who nominated me, share 7 facts about me, show the award on my blog and nominate other people.

7 Facts About Me:

1. I love going to the theatre especially to see Shakespeare and musicals. At the moment my all time favourite is Wicked, which I have seen five times, and yesterday actually I just bought my ticket for #6 when the production returns to Perth in a couple of weeks. However The Lion King is (finally) coming to Perth in November so i am predicting a tight race for my affections!

2. I hate eating peanuts or nuts of any kind, to the point where I’m pretty sure I have psychosomatically given myself a peanut allergy. Though I recently discovered that cashew and almonds are okay for me.

3.  I love comic books (yes, I’m that girl, actually heading to go see Age of Ultron this afternoon) but in particular Batman and in that universe I am in love with/want to be Harley Quinn. She’s terribly clever, terribly insane and terribly in love with a man (The Joker) who will literally be the death of her!

4. I love to read, I live to read, and often at my own peril. Too many times I have been hooked on a book and “just have to finish it, which turns into me still up at 3am when I start work at 8! At the moment I am reading a series by Andy McDermott (that is okayish, but hooked me on all the archaeology and ancient wonders more so than the character sand the writing).

5. I have never traveled internationally without my family (and then only once) and only domestically (within Australia) once, and that was with my best friend who is pretty much my sister. I have a thousand and one places on my list, but somehow never seem to be able to swing a trip anywhere, and the thought of going alone seems overwhelmingly daunting to me.

6. I have fantasies about being so well known that when I die and people are going through my belongings, all my journals and notebooks get chronicled ala Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks by John Curran. I have at least five at the moment that I use (whichever is closest, not a very organised system) and those go back to 2002.

7. I have a phobia of emus (and to a lesser extent ostriches). No idea what this is offically called, or where it stemmed from, just that even as a high schooler I would steer clear of the emus (in an enclosure even) at the Royal Show. Once when I was 13 and had family visiting from South Africa, I stayed behind at attached to my father or in the gift shop when we took the visitors to an open range zoo (AKA kangaroos and emus just roaming around and the visitors get to feed them).

Blogs I Want to Nominate (and adore!)

SusanMcMovies

A Patchwork Life

Bookarahma

The Coffee Chronicles

Paint The Silence

Delights and Dismays

Not A Girl, Not Yet A Post-Grad

The Basic Bitch Bible

Friday Five: Things I’m grateful for

SO I’m currently having a less than perfect day at school, and I thought it would  be good (for my sanity) to remember that there are things happening that are pretty damn awesome.

  1.  Persuading (really just telling, #teacher) my year 9 English class that my favourite movie “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” is a better option than watching “The Avengers” and then watching it with them this afternoon!
  2.  Finding the folder of photos with my little sister that I thought I lost.
  3.  Knowing I have two whole days off, and six days until holidays!
  4.  That there is a huge stack of books at home waiting for me to escape into them.
  5.  Cookie Lyon

    I was ultra close to this today….

Hope your Friday is going better than mine!

Love,

Andrea