Tag Archives: writing

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.

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Peppermint and Lime Tea: Venting

I am not someone who can drink coffee or tea straight after it is poured – I prefer to wait until it is of a drinkable heat, and a very dark colour. This evening I thought I would try a new tea – Peppermint and Lime from Twinings, my go to tea brand. So while my tea is cooling and I eat my dinner (a laughable attempt at being healthy after a day of not – fish and vegetables) I thought I would write a bit, mostly to vent.

Today at work I volunteered to go over a section of curriculum, only to have one of my (much older) colleagues say that someone else should go over it, not me. I’m at the point in my career where I know I am good at what I do and I am confident in it, and I want something to be responsible for – a program, project, assignment. So to hear that from a colleague was very disappointing, not just because I wanted the task, but because it was just another example of how unsupportive that particular department is (I work in two, luckily). Because I teach in two learning areas I often have to divide time up with staff meetings. Some of the staff in one of those areas are not happy with me and another teacher because we teach in two areas and so the assumption is that we can’t fully put our attentions to one or the other. In actual fact me and my friend overcompensate in both subjects – teaching after school classes, writing assessments, collaborating and sharing resources with everyone – while the teachers complaining about us are the “clock in, clock out” types nearing the end of their careers. So it is frustrating to have other people thinking (and telling your boss!!??) that you are not pulling your weight. Especially when it is so abundantly clear that the opposite is true.

I have been listening to some podcasts this week however, one of them Truth for Teachers, and the biggest thing I have gotten from it so far is not to waste time worrying about things I have no control over. So while it is frustrating not to be getting support from colleagues in that department, I can’t do anything about their thoughts and feelings so why waste time worrying about them? I am a good teacher, and I don’t need their validation to remind myself.

Tea is ready! Tea tastes….Surprisingly good. I’m not usually a big peppermint fan but I’m trying to get to sleep soon so trying it out. Hope you remember not to sweat the small things, or worry about other people’s problems!

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Thursdays

Thursday?! It can’t be! It’s too gruesome!

I have been having an awfully hectic kind of day, and then remembered this from my dear Holly. I think I like the idea of Thursdays being gruesome, but mostly because it is giving me only one day a week on which to have a whinge. I tend to over-whinge, so it’d be good for me to limit myself. Although I suppose I should really go the other way, give myself something to be grateful for in the face of a gruesome day. Yes, that’s probably wiser.

SO today, even though it has been particularly gruesome, at least I have this face to come home to:

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Meet Atticus. 

 

This one: img_0213

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He does make me smile!

Hope your Thursday is not too gruesome!

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Hell is teaching in a heatwave with no power..

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The power went out at school yesterday, leaving more than 1000 teachers and students suffering in a 40+ degree day with no air-conditioning.. I don’t know if you’ve ever had the pleasure of being around young adults during hot weather, but there are two things main things to know:

  1. They do absolutely no work whatsoever
  2. They smell. 

Continue reading Hell is teaching in a heatwave with no power..

Versatile Blogger Award 2.0!

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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: Fictional Fanatic

Happy Friday everyone! Summer in Perth means there is sport a-plenty, and when it gets too hot to go outside while waiting for the next Australian Open match to start, I turn to my many fictional loves. This week I’ll spotlight five (or probably more) of my favourite fictional sporting teams/figures.

Dillon High Panthers

 

East Compton High Clovers/Rancho Carne High Toros

 

Average Joe’s/Globo Gym Purple Cobras

Tree Hill High Ravens

Mighty Ducks (couldn’t pick between animated
or Gordon Bombay, until this:) 
duck

 

Who do you love to support? How are you spending your weekend?

Love,
Andrea

Taking Stock – June 17th

One of my new favourite bloggers at The Illusive Femme recently did a “Taking Stock” post. Having gone back to look at it and the site from which it originated (Meet Me at Mikes), I’m finding that I really like it (I am a sucker for list posts too) and I also would like to co-opt it for myself. The aim is to do one of these every month, to be able to sort of see how my goals and things have progressed. So without any further ado, here is my first stock taking!

Making: A Sailor Moon cross stitch that I will probably either frame or cushion.

Cooking: Curry, gnocchi and lots of pastas with “empty the fridge” (i.e. anything that is in the fridge goes in) sauces.

Drinking: Lots of green teas. I usually go for the ones with lemon in it, especially the Lipton pyramid ones, but I like Twinings too.

Reading: Jurassic Park, Friday Night Lights, Kavalier and Clay, The Infernal Devices and Meg Cabot. Too many books? Impossible!

Wanting: Summer, regular employment, a single digit sized body.

Looking: Forward to getting paid next week so I can pay off my car (finally)!

Playing: Cluedo on the computer, Lana Del Rey on the stereo and basketball when it’s not raining outside.

Deciding: whether or not I should brave the storm and head to the gym tonight.

Wishing: I was in Brazil for the World Cup.

Enjoying: Reading in bed with popcorn and green tea, listening to the wind and rain outside.

Waiting: for those ever elusive interview calls.

Liking: watching the World Cup with my brother at two in the morning.

Wondering: how to drum up some motivation to get me out of bed on days like this.

Loving: how I spent five of the last six nights ♥

Pondering: if I should re-read ASOIAF now that the fourth season of the show has ended.

Considering: getting my hair cut into a fringe again (when I can afford it).

Watching: Nigella Feasts and Rugrats on the iview.

Hoping: I get a job by the end of the month!

Marvelling: at the unpredictability and sheer wonder and magnitude of the World Cup. Portugal and Spain both losing by four goals in their first games? Singlehandedly bring countries to their knees.

Needing: to quit being lazy and just do the things I am supposed to be doing!

Smelling: A mix of Sunkissed Glow (yes, the Jennifer Lopez perfume) and boy, on the jumper I am currently wearing.

Wearing: Han Solo blue T shirt, black zip up hoodie, grey track suit pants (that I have somehow owned and been able to regularly wear since 2006), pink bonds socks.

Following: Sarah Jessica Parker, Poppy Lissiman, Lena Headey on Instagram.

Noticing: That I really need to clean my bedroom.

Knowing: I need to get my stuff together, stop waiting for someone/something to magically rescue me from my current predicaments.

Thinking: about boy, buying houses, somehow finding out I am the heir to an obscure European country ala Mia Thermopolis in The Princess Diaries.

Feeling: Despondent and frustrated, but yet determined.

Admiring: my friends and anyone with careers/houses, Jennifer Lopez and Diana Taurasi.

Sorting: My life. Unsuccessfully.

Buying: Friday Night Lights dvds, socks, books and Vanity Fair.

Getting: frustrated at myself for recognising what I need to be doing and yet still no doing it.

Bookmarking: ASOIAF theory essays, Grantland articles and a profile on Lana Del Rey.

Disliking: having not enough hours in the day, current living circumstances, current lack of organisation.

Opening: my window a smidge to smell the rain outside.

Giggling: at the boy.

Feeling: slightly more motivated, because of thinking about boy. It might be inherently anti-feminist of me, but I would do anything for that man and he inspires and motivates me.

Snacking: waaaay too much. Just finished a bag of popcorn, and I have a drawer in my nightstand filled with oat bars and cheese dips to put in my bag when I go out.

Coveting: A hot European or South American holiday, or body.

Wishing: for a teaching job that still allowed me to be able to stay up until four in the morning. Ha!

Helping: out in my household by taking down the (wet) washing so it doesn’t get more wet.

Hearing: The rail on the roof and windows, and hitting the patch of ground outside my window.

 

Hopefully I remember to do this once a month. I think it’s an interesting iteration of all those Myspace quizzes (you all know the ones I mean!) and hopefully allow me to sort of examine myself and how I’m going at the time.

Today is also Tuesday, and at last check I have now missed two Top Ten Tuesdays, back on track with them soon hopefully. As you may have gleaned I have been having a slight motivation/laziness crisis as of late. Hope you are all having a good month though, and watching a lot of the World Cup!

Love,
Andrea

Cliché Afflicted

Short one tonight.

One of my best friends, someone who I talk to everyday for hours and hours and truly value their opinion above anybody in the world, just told me that I talk/write in clichés and it is “super annoying”

As someone who prides myself on my writing and communication skills, I feel super offended by this, however I’m also wondering if this is a common thing, or perhaps my friend is just being a douchebag or even perhaps this is something that I actually have a problem with.

What are your thoughts, those of you who write? Would you be similarly offended or introspective, or am I just overreacting?

Love,
Andrea

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Still I Rise
Maya Angelou, 1928

I loved this poem before I ever knew I wanted to spend my life with words. Sweet dreams beautiful woman.

Love,
Andrea

10 Things

Today I was browsing through a friend’s fabulous second hand lifestyle blog and I came across her little tribute to Ten Things I Hate About You. Which I have now decided to appropriate for myself, as I am a fan of lists! This one was ten about her, I have kept her sentence starters because I quite liked them.

  1. Collecting Perth Wildcats memorabilia, Audrey Hepburn memorabilia and my newest one is scarves. Started as a necessity for what I thought would be my new job but now is just a bunch of scarves.
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  2. Wishing for some fun time with my number one. Tonight is their first night off in more than a week and they want a night to themselves (being a very individual, independent person). However since I so rarely get to see them I am struggling to keep myself from sending them twenty “what are you up to,” “how is your night,” “wanna hang out” messages. Sigh.
  3. Feeling antsy for some reason. It’s been a tiring and emotional week and my sleep schedule is so out of whack that I no longer know when I am actually tired or not.
  4. Watching season one of Friends. Funniest show of all time!!
  5. Smiling whenever my dad tells me to, even in text. This goes back to my child modelling days when I was taught smile number one (big smile with teeth) and smile number two (little smile, no teeth). My whole life whenever I have been upset or angry my dad will ask me to show him “number one” and no matter how old I am (as in how old I was last week when I called him upset about something. Also on Monday when I sent him a message saying “No job L” and he replied with “No worries SMILE, and think of the positives LOVE YOU!!” I smiled even though I was crying at he time) it makes me smile. Without fail. Gosh my dad is pretty amazing.
  6. Thinking that I really wanna see my number one, that I should have saved half my Turkish bread and fish melt for later instead of having it all for dinner, and that I should really clean up my room.
  7. Recently enjoyed how many gripes I have with episode two of the new season of Game of Thrones as a fan of the book series. For example, when Brienne and Cersei were chatting this is what was happening in my head: “WTF BRIENNE ALWAYS LOVES RENLY NOT JAMIE YOU TWAT! SHE IS LOYAL AND TRUE TO HER WORD BECAUSE SHE HAS A KNIGHT’S HONOUR AND FOLLOWS THROUGH ON HER PROMISES TO EVERYONE, NOT BECAUSE SHE WANTS JAMIE IN HER BREECHES! ARGH!!
  8. Totally Addicted to bass? It’s okay if you don’t get the reference, I listen to some obscure music sometimes. Probably more TV show and books, to the detriment of almost two university degrees, one hot body, one body image and almost two whole years of my life..
  9. Craving a hug from my number one. They have a way of making me feel safe and home and excited and loved all at the same time. Plus it’s been a rough week and I would really like some level of comfort beyond “something will come up eventually, keep applying.”
  10. Looking forward to the start of the Bulls’ off season in the wee hours of Monday, the Wildcats’ Ball next Saturday, the new X Men movie and Game of Thrones. And of course The Winds of Winter. But I have a feeling that the more people complain about it, the longer it will take to reach our Jon Snow deprived hands.

So that’s ten things about me, hopefully you don’t hate them!

Love,
Andrea